“SINGLE MOTHERS BY CHOICE”: DISRUPTING DOMINANT DISCOURSES OF THE FAMILY THROUGH SOCIAL JUSTICE ALTERNATIVES

Jennifer Ajandi

Abstract


 

This paper seeks to disrupt the dominant narrative of victimhood associated with the single mother family status. There are many barriers and difficulties associated with this status such as economic insecurity and political and social stigma. However, there are also many rewards and possibilities that make this family status desirable and rich with possibilities. Single mother families challenge the dominant paradigm of heteronormativity found within the notion of traditional nuclear family households. Drawing on critical feminist and queer theoretical perspectives and qualitative research from my doctoral studies, I will discuss how participants created a new narrative for themselves and their children. In particular, I focus on single mothers engaged in critical pedagogy and curriculum and community activism to seek connections with others who also viewed their families from a strengths perspective. “Single mothers by choice” establishes itself in its own right as a formidable alternative to dominant notions of the “family”.


Keywords


single mothers, dominant discourse, strengths, social justice

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International Journal of Child, Youth & Family Studies
ISSN
(online) 1920-7298
© University of Victoria

 

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