SOC 314 March 20th Readings

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10 Apr 2012
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SOC 314 March 20th Readings
Doing post-divorce childhood, From Andrew Cherlin
- Introduction
- Even they children who were perfectly happy did not fit this docile image: they had their own
demands and wishes and were capable of making them known
- Children play an active part in restructuring relationships after divorce and in redefining the
meaning of family after separation
- Children are sociological actors rather than passive symbols of family life
- Orienteering for Children
- Explore key elements in “doing” post-divorce
- Dealing with Separation
- Core of children’s renegotiation with their parents after divorce is the experience of absence
- “doing” separation becomes a part of child’s life as being with one parent involves being away
from another
- Separation from a parent is not always a problem for children; it can constitute either a loss or a
gain
- In general , children prefer to see both parents equally than see less of one parent
- Dealing with Parents
- Belief about divorce had intensified their appreciation of their parents, and their desire to
actively help them
- Monitoring and Managing the Relationship between Parents
- Children may experience conflicts of loyalty
- Children sometimes act as peacemakers
- Children develop strong sense of diplomacy
- Dealing with New Parents
- Could dislike new partners out of jealousy rather than because they were intrinsically unlikable
- Major part of “doing” post-divorce childhood seemed to involve coming to terms with the fact
that parents too needed happiness and that this could be valued and valuable, even if the child
or young person did not much like the situation
- An Altered Self?
- Divorce changes parents, makes children aware that they need to change too
- Notion that they have to grow up faster
- Changing Childhoods?
- Divorce confronts children with experiences which make them think differently about their
family practices and re-evaluate their relationships
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