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ERIC Number: EJ926153
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Jul
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 42
ISSN: ISSN-0192-513X
"I'm a Loser, I'm Not Married, Let's Just All Look at Me": Ever-Single Women's Perceptions of Their Social Environment
Sharp, Elizabeth A.; Ganong, Lawrence
Journal of Family Issues, v32 n7 p956-980 Jul 2011
Despite growing numbers of singles, the idealization of marriage and child rearing remains strong, pervasive, and largely unquestioned. Guided by life course perspective, the purpose of this article was to examine familial and societal messages women receive when not married by their late 20s to mid-30s. Using descriptive phenomenological method, the authors conducted 32 interviews with 10 middle-class, ever-single women. Respondents' social environments were characterized by pressure to confirm to the conventional life pathway. Pressure was manifested in women feeling both highly visible "and" invisible. Specifically, women's social worlds included (a) awareness of the changing reality as they became older (e.g., changing pool of eligible men, pregnancy risks), (b) reminders that they were on a different life path (i.e., "visibility") through others' inquires and "triggers" (e.g., weddings), and (c) displacement in their families of origin (i.e., "invisibility"). The authors discuss the visible/invisible paradox, which appeared to be pronounced at their life stage. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A