Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2011

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Sociology

First Advisor

Amy Wikins, Ph.D

Abstract

The study explores how the child-rearing consumption practices of divorced parents are influenced by the financial, logistical, and emotional dilemmas of parenting after divorce. Findings were obtained through in-depth interviews with ten divorced parents who had children ranging from six to thirteen years of age. Data analysis revealed two incongruent discourses, which I call Ideal Consumption and Realistic Consumption. Parents used ideal consumption to portray themselves as model consumers; while realistic consumption bluntly acknowledged divorce’s impact their spending. This research demonstrates how society’s perception of culturally appropriate child-rearing consumption does not recognize spending related to divorce.

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