In the last decades, there has been a steady increase in single parent families (Cheeseman, Ferguson, Cohen, 2011), and consequently the number of risk areas relate to single mothers is increased (e.g., stressful life-events, role overload, lower income). In this perspective, the single mothers represent an interesting target study, because they are more exposed at risk of poverty and isolation, especially in geographical contexts where the lack of social services for children and the persistence of traditional models underpinning the division of domestic tasks, affects the time that women have to spend on running the family. This makes the work harder than is necessary and it is a burden that women tend to shoulder alone (Saraceno, 2002). Furthermore, although some scholars have shaped ideas about how survival strategies of poor single mothers are based on relationships of exchange (Stack, 1974; Bell; 1982) based on reciprocity (Nelson; 2000), a substantial body of literature offers more scepticism about the degree to which those in need can rely on others for support in getting by. Indeed, not only networks of solidarity can be developed between poor subjects, but also competitive and even constrictive relationships. Aim of the paper is to analyse ego-centered social networks in a sample of low income single mothers living in Naples (Italy), defining how the social context features influence the network structure, and describing the different type of relationships of support, their strength or weakness, and those on whom they rely for daily living.

Network structure and social support in the single-parent family: a case study

VITALE, MARIA PROSPERINA
2013

Abstract

In the last decades, there has been a steady increase in single parent families (Cheeseman, Ferguson, Cohen, 2011), and consequently the number of risk areas relate to single mothers is increased (e.g., stressful life-events, role overload, lower income). In this perspective, the single mothers represent an interesting target study, because they are more exposed at risk of poverty and isolation, especially in geographical contexts where the lack of social services for children and the persistence of traditional models underpinning the division of domestic tasks, affects the time that women have to spend on running the family. This makes the work harder than is necessary and it is a burden that women tend to shoulder alone (Saraceno, 2002). Furthermore, although some scholars have shaped ideas about how survival strategies of poor single mothers are based on relationships of exchange (Stack, 1974; Bell; 1982) based on reciprocity (Nelson; 2000), a substantial body of literature offers more scepticism about the degree to which those in need can rely on others for support in getting by. Indeed, not only networks of solidarity can be developed between poor subjects, but also competitive and even constrictive relationships. Aim of the paper is to analyse ego-centered social networks in a sample of low income single mothers living in Naples (Italy), defining how the social context features influence the network structure, and describing the different type of relationships of support, their strength or weakness, and those on whom they rely for daily living.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11386/3999456
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