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Motherhood, Survival Strategies and Empowering Experiences
Halmstad University, School of Social and Health Sciences (HOS).
2008 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year))Student thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis is based on material gathered during a field study in rural Sri Lanka, a Minor Field Study, (MFS) during April-May 2007. The core of the thesis deals with conceptualisations of empowerment and how they can be interpreted contextually from the perspectives of motherhood. The interplay of gender discourses with structural dimensions are analysed to see how these work to uphold ideals whilst posing contrary demands on mothers. Part of the focus has thus been to look at how discourses are adhered, aligned and adjusted to in various ways as strategies for survival in the context of poverty and marginalisation. The way social constructions perpetuate asymmetrical power relations as natural and normative is also discussed since this is central to how gender discourses are produced, upheld and reproduced. This study initiates in the every day experiences of mothers living in absolute poverty. Through narratives and participatory observations of their daily experiences contextual discourses, structural dimensions and agency are analysed. Their experiences are viewed as interconnected with the wider perspectives of political, economic and social conditions locally and globally. Analysis of these experiences against contextual discourses and structural implications attempts to identify possibilities and potential for empowerment. By raising central issues to the mothers regarding segregation, marginalisation and vulnerability, a more contextual understanding of how empowerment is constrained and facilitated is hopefully achieved. Furthermore, how women in this study respond and relate to these issues and whether empowering experiences can be traced even where overt challenges are absent. Finally, the thesis addresses the complexity of carrying out a study of this kind, where the prerogative to define and conceptualise lies with the researcher, the beholder, representing through this very role inequity in the division of power and privilege.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Högskolan i Halmstad/Sektionen för Hälsa och Samhälle (HOS) , 2008.
Keywords [en]
Gender, gender discourses, empowerment, poverty, Sri Lanka
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-1131Local ID: 2082/1510OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-1131DiVA, id: diva2:238349
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2008-02-07 Created: 2008-02-07 Last updated: 2008-02-07

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf