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Low-Income "Single Moms" in Israel: Redefining the Gender Contract

Amalia Sa'ar
The Sociological Quarterly
Vol. 50, No. 3 (Summer, 2009), pp. 450-473
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Midwest Sociological Society
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40220140
Page Count: 24
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Low-Income "Single Moms" in Israel: Redefining the Gender Contract
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Abstract

This article on low-income "one-parent mothers" in Israel is based on 32 in-depth interviews and supportive data from a longitudinal study. Findings problematize scholarly treatments of "single mothers" as a universal category, showing it to be culturally specific and polysemic. It is argued that low-income one-parent mothers embody a central tension in the Israeli male-breadwinner/female-caretaker gender contract, as its initial class bias is exacerbated by the dissolution of marriage. By simultaneously adopting and reformulating the hegemonic schema that frames their femininity as deficient, they expose the dual character of the contract as resistant to change and dynamic.

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