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When paid work invades the family: Single mothers in the COVID-19 pandemic


The Novel COVID-19 pandemic has dissolved the spatial distinction between production/workplace and reproduction/home. With essential services like childcare and public schools either shut down or dramatically curtailed, families have been stretched to the breaking point. Nowhere is the stress greater than among single mothers. This paper presents the results of a survey of single mothers who live alone with their children and single mothers who live in multi-adult households. We focus on three questions relevant to the situation faced by single mothers: (a) Does the experience of having created a support network prior to becoming a single mother mitigate the impact of the pandemic on single mothers? (b) Will the weight of daycare for preschool and school age children lead single mothers to look for new ways to organize their households? (c) More generally, will the antagonism between production and reproduction be altered as a result of the pandemic? (author abstract)

Resource Type:
Reports & Papers
United States; Canada

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