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Abstract

The status of women in contemporary society is a vital aspect of debates concerning gender inequality, women’s subordination, violence against women, and women’s empowerment. The responses of women to these problems vary across different social and spatial categories. One of the significant responses is the change in the family structure that leads to the emergence of single-parent families, particularly single-mother families. Few studies in the Indian context deal with the causes of rising numbers of single-mother families. Furthermore, there are no significant studies concerning the issues single mothers face. Being single and a mother is a significant challenge for a woman in Indian society. A divorced single mother faces various constraints and challenges while leading a household after the marital disruption. Single mothers face many physical and psychological problems, including taking care of herself and children in matters of health and well-being. The present study investigates the constraints of divorced single mothers concerning their social support systems and family management strategies as they influence mental and physical health. The study is an outcome of twenty-five case studies of divorced single mothers residing in Hyderabad, India. The results are drawn using interpretive phenomenological analysis.

Note on the Author

Pooja Shree Mishra (Research Scholar, National Institute of Technology, Rourkela) is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in the Department of Humanities and Social Science at National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Odisha. She received her Master’s degree from Department of Sociology at University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. Her current area of research is on gender.

Apparao Thamminaina (Ph.D., University of Hyderabad) is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Anthropology, University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad. He had earlier served as an Assistant Professor at the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad, and as Guest Faculty at the University of Hyderabad. His research areas include identity and development, policy, and gender.

Dr. Nihar Ranjan Mishra is currently working as Associate Professor in Anthropology and Associate Dean Academic, NIT Rourkela. He specializes in Environmental Management and Sustainable Livelihood, Displacement issues, Tribal and Rural Development and Agrarian Studies. Before joining NIT in 2009, he worked with various reputed institutions like NIRD, Hyderabad, CSD, New Delhi, and CSD Hyderabad in India with various capacities. He earned his research and teaching experiences over the years, handling around 10 independent and joint projects sponsored by various private and Government departments.

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