Deficit and asset identity constructions of single women without children living in Australia: an analysis of discourse

Addie, Elizabeth and Brownlow, Charlotte (2014) Deficit and asset identity constructions of single women without children living in Australia: an analysis of discourse. Feminism and Psychology, 24 (4). pp. 423-439. ISSN 0959-3535

Abstract

Construction of adult life course and identity has typically been built around norms of partnering and parenting, placing single women who do not have children outside the norm. Studies undertaken with single women have found that relationship status was a key factor in their identity construction. In this study, we conducted semi-structured interviews with five, single, women without children, living in Australia. Drawing on critical discursive psychology, we found that participants negotiated two contesting discourses to construct their identities: the Heterosexual Relationship and Family Life discourse and the Independent Single Woman discourse. In crafting identities, tensions were identified between the positioning of self and the positioning of self by others, particularly with respect to the Heterosexual Relationship and Family Life discourse. This was evident in some women contesting the positions afforded by the discourse, instead drawing on an asset identity. This asset identity enabled the women to pursue positive life opportunities.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2014. Permanent restricted access to published version due to publisher copyright policy.
Faculty / Department / School: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology, Counselling and Community
Date Deposited: 24 Nov 2014 04:39
Last Modified: 04 Jul 2016 06:17
Uncontrolled Keywords: identity construction; single women; childless women; asset identity; deficit identity; critical discourse analysis
Fields of Research : 16 Studies in Human Society > 1699 Other Studies in Human Society > 169901 Gender Specific Studies
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences > 1701 Psychology > 170105 Gender Psychology
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970117 Expanding Knowledge in Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1177/0959353514539463
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/25532

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