Dreams of Motherhood

By Kaye, Kelleen | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, December 14, 2006 | Go to article overview

Dreams of Motherhood


Kaye, Kelleen, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


Dreams of Motherhood

Women's studies professor examines the maternal aspirations held by many single women.

Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family By Rosanna Hertz Oxford University Press, 2006 304 pp., $26.00; ISBN: 0195179900

There are few human endeavors that are as fundamentally personal, yet come with such far-reaching societal implications, as becoming a parent As cultural barriers break down and technology advances, the circumstances surrounding the conception and raising of children become increasingly diverse, extending beyond the traditional nuclear family structure. This brings both new opportunities and obligations, and changes the demographic fabric of some communities for generations. As intercourse, conception, marriage and parenting become increasingly disconnected, public policy faces the challenge of understanding how the rights of adults, the well-being of children and the interests of society intersect.

While much of the resulting discourse has focused on the welfare culture often associated with single mothers, Dr. Rosanna Hertz reminds us that these are not the only voices of single mothers. In Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice, Hertz offers an exceptionally rich view into the lives of 65 middle-class women who have embarked on a journey into single parenthood. Her study is a useful bookend to Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas's Promises I Can Keep, a study that follows low-income women into single motherhood. Both studies offer valuable qualitative accounts of the complex and diverse circumstances facing single-mother families. The studies fill the critical gaps in our understanding left by a rich but limited body of quantitative evidence.

The voices in Single by Chance give us a personal understanding of the maternal aspirations held by many single women, and the pitfalls within each of the various routes to parenthood available to them. While much of the literature has focused on the economic disadvantages of single parenthood, we learn that the complexities of helping a child navigate issues of identity are perhaps equally important We see the level of dedication these single mothers bring in nurturing their children and the deeply traditional goals they have, even as they piece together nontraditional networks to ensure the elements needed to thrive as a family.

Few people would take great exception to a relatively small group of single women who intentionally dedicate themselves to starting a family and raising healthy, happy children, but what do we conclude from their stories in terms of the greater society? It is within Hertz' own narrative, which she uses to frame these women's stories and to suggest her own vision for the future direction of families, wherein lies perhaps the greatest potential to move the discourse on family structure forward. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Dreams of Motherhood
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.