Are lone mothers 'going it alone' in late modernity? In this fascinating work, Martina Klett-Davies examines how women negotiate lone motherhood in Britain and Germany. She draws on interviews with 70 unmarried lone mothers living on state benefits in inner city areas to examine the complexity and diversity of their lives, the ways in which they try to manage choices and constraints, and how they position themselves as carers, dependants or as paid workers. Going it Alone? assesses the extent to which individualization can explain the experience of state-dependent lone mothers, further develops the concept and provides a better understanding of lone mothers. Suggestions with regard to paid employment, education and state benefits are provided as well as policy recommendations for increasing the options available to lone mothers.
'This is a highly scholarly book that deals with an urgent issue of our time. It interweaves contemporary social theory with differentiated meanings, understandings and experiences of state-dependent lone mothers in Britain and Germany. The pioneers, copers and strugglers are compelling images that remain long after the book is closed.' Diane Perrons, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK 'Martina Klett-Davies challenges simplistic assumptions about the role of the state in supporting lone mothers, and provides new insight into concepts of dependency and individualization in modern society.' Jane Millar, University of Bath, UK '…a welcome contribution to the literature, providing interesting material for social work academics, sociologists, practitioners and students alike.' Child and Family Social Work '…[an] interesting book that challenged simplistic assumptions about the role of the state in supporting lone mothers and provided new insights into the concepts of individualisation and dependency in modern society. The comparisons made between East and West Berlin and London made for new ways of thinking about the negotiation of lone motherhood in two different welfare states and the public discourses that go alongside them. The author demonstrates that lone motherhood cannot be constructed only as a social problem, but rather should be seen as a potentially liberating experience…a useful contribution to the literature about the extent to which the concept of individualisation can explain the experience of state-dependent mothers through their differentiated meanings, understandings and experiences.' Gender and Education