Essay about Applying the Sociological Imagination to Sole-parent Familes
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There is much debate on what constitutes as a family today. However, Ball (2002) states, “The concept of the traditional family…is not an immutable one. It is a social construct that varies from culture to culture and, over time, the definition changes within a culture” (pp. 68). There is a growing diversity of families today including the commonality of sole-parenting. In order to explore aspects of sole-parenthood objectively, I need to reflect and put aside my personal experience of growing up in sole-parent household. Furthermore, this essay will explore the historical origins, cultural aspects discussing the influences and implications of gender identity, and social structures of sole-parent families, as well as consider the…show more content…
As my parents grew further apart, my siblings and I grew closer together. Having grown up in a rural community, my father was greatly supported emotionally, as our family and friends could see how the pressures of being the sole-provider weighed on him.
Historically, one of the most economically vulnerable groups in New Zealand and other Western countries are sole-parent families (Family Commissions, 2010). When examining historical influences in New Zealand on sole-parenting, one must consider the influential changes the Second World War era had on families and family structures. Sole-parenthood was not particularly common during the this period, as most women married young and went on to have children while the men worked to provide for their families or went off to war. (Families Commission, 2008, June). Unmarried women who fell pregnant were scrutinized as being unfit mothers and shamed for getting pregnant outside of marriage. These women were heavily encouraged to give their babies up for adoption to allow their children to live a “normal” life and were seen as selfish if they chose to keep the baby (Else, A., 2012).
It wasn’t until the 1960s and 1970s that more unmarried pregnant woman opted to keep their babies instead of putting them up for adoption (Else, A., 2012). Due to the financial pressures of sole-parenting the Domestic Proceedings Act was introduced in 1968, which required fathers to pay mothers some maintenance for