Trapped in between state, market and family: Experiences of moderately educated divorced and widow women

Thesis Type: Doctorate

Institution Of The Thesis: Orta Doğu Teknik Üniversitesi, Graduate School of Social Sciences, Turkey

Approval Date: 2015




In this study, my main purpose is to grasp how women whose marriage is ended up either by divorce or the loss of the husband experience the life after marital dissolution as widows and a divorced women. My basic argument is that widowed and divorced women are trapped in between family, market and state; and that gender based, family oriented patriarchal society and social policies do not allow these women to live their life the way they want and to stand on their own feet; but make them lean on their families or men. In this study, I further argue that divorced and widow women experience economic decline, loss of social network and social support but in different ways. These women are stigmatized such as they are called “deviant” or assumed sexually threat to stable marriage and families as widow or divorced women. Thus, because of these attitudes, they are isolated and stayed in more closed relations. They have difficulties in labor market since they are responsible for child care as a single parent. On the other hand, we see starting points for empowerment of these women after marital dissolution since they re/started to work and to control the money and spending. However, because of the cultural context they live in, divorced and widow women trapped in the control of other men in the family, in the neighborhood or in the society.