On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America

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9780520218307: On Our Own: Unmarried Motherhood in America

The U.S. has experienced a dramatic increase in births to unmarried women in recent decades—from 4% of births in 1950, with most of the babies then adopted, to more than 30% today. Melissa Ludtke's book is the only in-depth analysis of this radical change in family formation to compare and contrast the lives of these mothers of varying ages and economic circumstances.

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At the heart of the national debate about "family values" is the population of women who become mothers without first becoming wives. Some critics regard them as monsters, others as brave alternatives to traditional American families. Regardless of the way they're perceived, hundreds of thousands of unmarried women begin families each year. With a reporter's zeal (author Melissa Ludtke is a former correspondent for Time magazine, where her articles--including more than 20 cover stories--focused on family and children), an analyst's thirst for research, and a personal involvement with its subjects, the book is a compelling blend of stories and social commentary.

While much commented upon, unmarried mothers themselves rarely comment on their status, and Ludtke has gathered interviews of women from all rungs on the socioeconomic ladder, from teenagers to fortysomethings. The result is a thought-provoking and timely study that covers complicated issues and offers a forge-ahead attitude to choices often considered unconventional, such as donor insemination--its history and the issues it raises--and adoption. Discussions about accidental and intentional pregnancy, plus true-life stories alternating between the two sets of mothers--teens and older adults--represent only a portion of the ground covered.

From the Inside Flap:

"Ludtke brings the voices of women having children on their own into a public debate from which these voices have been conspicuously absent. Interweaving their voices with her own savvy and intuitive commentary, she has written a vitally important book."—Carol Gilligan, author of In a Different Voice

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Book Description University of California Press, United States, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Revised ed.. Language: English . Brand New Book. The U.S. has experienced a dramatic increase in births to unmarried women in recent decades - from 4 per cent of births in 1950, with most of the babies then adopted, to more than 30 per cent today. Melissa Ludtke s book is the only in-depth analysis of this radical change in family formation to compare and contrast the lives of these mothers of varying ages and economic circumstances. Bookseller Inventory # AAH9780520218307

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