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Public and private - Essay Example

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He studied the cases of sixty women who discussed their plight both as a divorcee and as a single parent. Most of them were…
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In “Downward Mobility” the has painted a bleak yet detailed picture of the socio-economic Predicament of a divorced woman in America. He studied the cases of sixty women who discussed their plight both as a divorcee and as a single parent. Most of them were struggling at Socioeconomic as well as emotional and psychological levels. A considerable group was not even able to make both ends meet. Generally the participants discussed their individual situations and experiences but their statements were in agreement of one basic fact i.e. the gender issue which seemed to be an inbuilt phenomenon in the case of divorce. Women tend to suffer more economic and emotional Regression than a man. The reasons are manifold. Firstly, many of them were providing for their kids singlehandedly, with a little or no help from their former husbands. Secondly, gender bias also affects the availability of opportunities in job market. As a result most of them remained Underpaid and over burdened with increasing budget deficit. However, a small number of these women that Arendell called “a unique sub group” did not show similar desperation as majority of the others did. According to Rendell most of them had a substantial support system from either their parents or legal settlement of property or their marriage experience was so unbearably painful that even a sense of Liberation could make them sufficiently optimistic. (Arendell, 1986) Thus, the study discussed in the present article Shows that a divorced woman in America is largely a victim of socioeconomic deprivation and is surrounded by a strange fear of unpredictable future. This together with the psychological pressure, Complexes and Dilemmas rob them off all capacities to see a ray of light at the end of the tunnel.
The key concepts presented in this article were mainly the sense of deprivation arising from an
Increasingly common phenomenon i.e. “divorce”. The women interviewed were all passing through a Phase where they experience painful surprises on every day basis. A situation where just cost cutting Does not help let alone maintaining the pre divorced standard of living. Another very significant Concept discussed was the plight of single parenting which has both financial and emotional Repercussions. The article also touched upon the gender inequality in work opportunities and the Amount of social downturn a woman experience as opposed to man, as Peterson discussed in his book “Women, Work and Divorce” and I quote ,” Divorced women, like other women continue to be at a disadvantage in labor market. The level of occupational segregation by sex, which remained relatively stable before 1970, began a slow decline in the 1970…….. sex segregation of occupations remain at high level”. (Peterson, 1989). Writer himself could not show any Hope for the reversal of their situation as he said,” The economic declines experienced by these 60 Women……… were not temporary.” At another point Rendell re emphasized the same point by calling these women’s condition irreversible. (Arendell, 1986).

This undoubtedly paints a gloomy yet honest picture of the situation on ground. I think the article is reasonably convincing. The research data presented real victims and the similarity in their responses Strengthen the hypothesis the writer has made about the dire consequences of divorce at social, Economic and psychological level. For example, at one point Rendell said,” All but 2 of these women Had to cope with a substantial loss of family income” This economic and social downturn was further Confirmed by another women, she said, “I’ve been living hand to mouth all these years ever since the Divorce” still another said, “My problem is money plain and simple” (Arendell, 1986). All this and many other examples in the article suffice in establishing the fact that unlike man, woman goes through a Different set of traumatic experiences which exceed from the emotional realm and enters the ““Impoverishment of spirits” (Rendell, 1986).
The Divorce related issues for the women of today are manifold. I have an experience of my own relative in this regard which confirms the writer’s stance. She was married for twenty years before being divorced and since the divorce plea was filed by her because of the traumatic experiences she was going through during marriage, she had no hopes of alimony. As a result she was made to earn her livelihood by a garment business. Every business needs financial back up plan and an initial support. This is where she lacked and adding to the misery was the fact that she was a single parent of four kids. It was only through the prompt support of her sisters and their older children that she could at least stop the drastic downward mobility.
While reading the article I came across some responses of the effected women which were particularly disturbing and scary. For example when one of the women talked about the psychological dilemma she was going through, she gave the details of her suicidal thoughts and how she even attempted one. Also the woman who was fighting cancer conceded the financial difficulties she had to bear to get proper treatment. (Arendell, 1986). All this fact was overwhelmingly painful.
However, I believe that If were to rewrite this article or to do a similar study I would have incorporated the views of other social factors like sociologists or psychologist who have an active role in determining The seriousness of the issue with evidences from many research studies as well as cultural and historical Facts .Every day they meet at least one. Also because of their educational background their opinions will be Informed and educated.


References
Aredell, Terry (1986). “Downward Mobility” from “Mothers and Divorce: Legal, Economic, and Social\ dilemmas, pp 304, 310, 312.
Peterson, R.R. (1989) “Women, Work, and Divorce” pp 2. Read More
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