For Work / Against Work
Debates on the centrality of work

Lone Mothers, Paid Work and Gendered Moral Rationalities

by Duncan, Simon; Edwards, Rosalind (1999)


Why are British lone mothers less likely to be in paid work than in most other western countries? And is "welfare to work" the right sort of policy response? This book sets out to answer questions like these through in-depth analyses of how lone mothers negotiate the relationship between motherhood and paid work. Combining qualitative and quantitative data, this book focuses on social capital in different neighborhoods, local labor markets and welfare states, while making particular comparisons to lone mothers in Germany, Sweden and the USA. In doing so, a critique of conventional economic accounts of decision-making is provided, as well as an alternative concept of "gendered moral rationality" which can better account for lone mothers' labor market behavior. It also sets up a new framework for understanding political and policy discourses about lone motherhood, and develops a concept of "genderfare" with which to understand national policy differences.


Gendered Labour, Working Mothers, Mothering Work, United Kingdom, Welfare To Work, Motherhood, Unpaid Labour, Genderfare


Women and Work, Mothering

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