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Turning that shawl into a cape: older never married women in their own words–the ‘Spinsters’, the ‘Singletons’, and the ‘Superheroes’

Silverio, SA and Soulsby, LK (2019) Turning that shawl into a cape: older never married women in their own words–the ‘Spinsters’, the ‘Singletons’, and the ‘Superheroes’. Critical Discourse Studies, 17 (2). pp. 211-228. ISSN 1740-5904

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Unmarried and childless women are frequently portrayed negatively in society. Social storytelling often renders them discriminated against, or in extreme cases, outcast by their kin or clan. Twelve semi-structured interviews were conducted with never married women to explore the concept of femininity, constructions of identity in daily-life, identity changes over time, marital status, and the interaction between having not married and womanhood. Data specifically relating to self-definitions of femininity and marital status concentrate on the speakers’ constructions of themselves as both the subject (powerful) and the object (powerless) of their own reflective enquiry. Four key themes emerged through the analysis: ‘Being Never Married’; ‘Society’s Perceptions’; ‘Being Feminine’; and ‘The Self and Transitions’. This study facilitates understanding of never married women’s relationship with themselves, their gender identity, and marital status; and is key to understanding how this population discusses their marginalisation in society.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Critical Discourse Studies on 23 Aug 2019, available at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17405904.2019.1656654
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Divisions: Psychology (from Sep 2019)
Publisher: Routledge
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2023 08:00
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2023 08:00
DOI or ID number: 10.1080/17405904.2019.1656654
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/20600
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