Date of Award

5-15-2009

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Degree Program

Sociology

Department

Sociology

Major Professor

Luft, Rachel E.

Second Advisor

Jenkins, Pamela

Third Advisor

Raabe, Phyllis H.

Abstract

Mothers of children with disabilities face a variety of problems compared to other mothers, but their experiences are not universal. This thesis provides a critical analysis of caregiving and disability by examining the experiences of a group of low-income African American mothers with children with disabilities. It explores the impacts of race, class, gender, and disability on mothers' experiences in the context of conflicting employment and caregiving demands for poor women. Drawing on in-depth qualitative interviews with ten low-income African American mothers of children with disabilities, I illustrate how the struggles of raising a child with a disability are amplified in the face of race and class inequalities. As a result, these women redefine the notion of personal responsibility and employ a series of survival strategies.

Rights

The University of New Orleans and its agents retain the non-exclusive license to archive and make accessible this dissertation or thesis in whole or in part in all forms of media, now or hereafter known. The author retains all other ownership rights to the copyright of the thesis or dissertation.

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