La maternidad como proyecto monoparental : el caso de las madres solas por elección


Darré, Silvana




203 p.


Atribución-NoComercial-SinDerivadas 2.0 Genérica (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)




Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires (autonomus city)
Rosario (inhabited place)


The research that supports this Ph.D. thesis in Social Sciences, proposes to address one of the forms of maternity that are happening nowadays: maternity alone and by choice.

The approach of the case study of single mothers by choice is proposed within a context of political, social, cultural transformations for the role of women in society. Since a number of changes that have been happening for several decades, it is currently possible to have new filiation contexts in Argentina, which enables the existence of a multiplicity of family forms, among them the model of single-parent families led by women.

The general objective of this research is to know if one of these ways of being a mother, the maternity project alone and by choice, questions the social gender mandates that determine the role of women, or if it expresses a restatement of those mandates, sustained now in the logic of individualization.

To carry out this analysis, four specific objectives were presented. First of all, to analyze what place perceptions of social terms around maternity have for single mothers by choice. Second of all, to analyze whether the social and cultural mandates around maternity have been modified in the framework of the current transformations of the role of women. In the third place, to investigate how assisted reproduction techniques and single-parent adoption operate in the realization of motherhood for women who want to be single mothers by choice. And finally, to know how the reconciliation between the productive and reproductive spheres (in particular, the upbringing and care of their children) influences the decision to be single mothers by choice.

Maternity alone and by choice, it is not new in the sense that these women take care of the upbringing of their children alone, but the feature is given in that maternity expresses an individual and autonomous project, split into the couple and the conjugality.

Those women who are single mothers by widowhood, abandonment, separation or divorce are excluded from this nomination since here there is no beforehand choice regarding this way of carrying it out. Although it is unknown that the ways of maternity of these women may match with the target population of this investigation, the fact that they have not chosen – at least initially – the fate of maternity split into the couple and the conjugality, makes them be excluded from the subject of study.

The theoretical support of this thesis is based on thinking about the research problem from a trans-disciplinary perspective. This research is based on the theory produced by the disciplinary fields of sociology, history, philosophy, and psychology. The difficulty raised by the study of the category of motherhood in its relationship with the transformations that have occurred for the role of women makes such an approach necessary. Besides, it is necessary to mention that this thesis is constructed from a gender perspective based on feminist theories, going through with this view transversely the construction of the problem as its research process.

Feminist theories are chosen as a theoretical perspective, by questions about the notion of motherhood from a critical perspective, tending to make visible the cultural construction of motherhood as a project supposedly inherent in women, and the unquestioned association between women-mother categories.

Another important aspect to mention here is that this research follows a qualitative design. The method chosen is a collective case study (Stake, 1999). And semi-structured interviews were used as an information-gathering technique.

Case status is granted to maternity alone and by choice, selecting for convenience a limited number of women who chose this life project, belonging to some large cities of the Argentine Republic (the City of Buenos Aires and Rosario). The case is studied through semistructured interviews (De Souza Minayo, 2005; Hernandez Sampieri et al, 1997), both to women who are single mothers by choice at present. The unit of analysis taken is made up of women between 35 and 45 years of age, with tertiary and/or university studies and who are heads of household.

The structure of this thesis begins with an introduction, then the development is given in five chapters, and finally the conclusions. They were thought to address the proposed objectives.

The conclusions reached on completion of this research, lie in the fact that the changes concerning women promote the adaptation of ways of experiencing motherhood to the current situation, which involves new social and economic costs of women.

It is suggested that, in the case of maternity alone and by choice, it leads in part to a re-update of the social mandates of gender-linked to maternity. Based on research carried out, it is observed that the case studied promotes the strengthening of those mandates that tend to reinforce the women-mother association. But this association manages to be nuanced by the elements that make up the cultural, political and social context of current Argentina.

Likewise, it can be mentioned from the fieldwork carried out that maternity alone and by choice allows a distancing to those mandates tending to place women in the level of reproductive and unpaid work.

Table Of Contents


Capítulo 1: ¿Maternidad o maternidades? Nuevos contextos de filiación en argentina.
1.1 Presentación del tema
1.2 Las teorías feministas como sustento teórico
1.3 La maternidad según el Estado argentino. Historización del proyecto maternal de la Modernidad hasta los nuevos contextos de filiación de la actualidad
1.4 La maternidad monoparental por elección: modalidad de filiación que difiere de la familia tradicional biparental

Capítulo 2: El diseño de investigación. La estrategia metodológica del estudio de caso.
2.1. El estudio de caso como modo de aproximación a un fenómeno incipiente y complejo
2.2. Supuestos de base e hipótesis de trabajo
2.3. Objetivos general y específicos

Capítulo 3: La maternidad como proyecto inherente al ser mujer
3.1. La soldadura mujer-madre
3.2. La construcción socio-política de la maternidad
3.3. La maternidad desde la perspectiva de género
3.4. El instinto maternal como justificación de la asignación del cuidado y la crianza de los/as hijos/as a la mujer
3.5. La mujer-madre, profesional y trabajadora: malabares y multitasking

Capítulo 4: El caso de las madres solas por elección. Descripción del caso.
4.1 Técnicas de reproducción asistida y la adopción monoparental como maneras de acceso a la maternidad en solitario y por elección
4.2 Conciliación entre las esferas productiva y reproductiva en las madres solas por elección como únicas jefas de hogar

Capítulo 5: El proyecto monoparental de maternidad como actualización de los mandatos sociales sobre la mujer. Análisis del caso.
5.1 ¿Cómo influyen los mandatos sociales en las decisiones de quienes deciden ser madres solas por elección?
5.2 Rupturas y continuidades en los mandatos sociales y culturales en torno a la maternidad.

Referencias bibliográficas

Título obtenido

Doctora de la Universidad de Buenos Aires en Ciencias Sociales

Institución otorgante

Universidad de Buenos Aires. Facultad de Ciencias Sociales

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