Matriarchal families and interchangeable fathers

How discourses on parenting allocate positions to women and men in post-divorce families

Omslag för Matriarchal families and interchangeable fathers: How discourses on parenting allocate positions to women and men in post-divorce families

Municio, Ingegerd

This paper is about family constellations post-divorce or post-separation. The aim is to get access to discourses on family life and parenting in society. The empirical data are interviews in Estonia and Latvia. These are used as narratives to help us understand how parenting is worked out after divorce. The analysis points to different ways of understanding the rights and responsibilities of women in relation to men. While women are expected to resume full responsibility for care and maintenance of the children, men express the right to move on to new relationships. Thus, fathers are seen as interchangeable, while mothers are permanent. Power over the new family post-divorce is assumed by mothers, thus forming a familial matriarchy. Men manifest their power position in society and in relation to women by being able to choose their degree of involvement in the family.

Huddinge : Södertörns högskola, 2013. 44 sidor.

Serie: Working Paper, 1404-1480 ; 2013:2