Page 11 - Parental Alienation Conference 2018
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 Research Presentations
The social construction of motherhood and its possible effect on alienated mothers
Presenter: Jo Fothergill
There is little to no current research into the Parental Alienation (PA) phenomenon in the sociological field when compared to the fields of psychology, psychiatry and the law. A major gap in the literature and research is the difference between the sociological experiences of mothers and fathers when they experience PA. The author takes a sociological view of the effects of severe PA on the role of motherhood in current Australian society. The research being undertaken seeks to make more visible the experience PA has on severely alienated mothers, the way it affects their meaning making of self and the way they are viewed by society. One focus of the research will be on the social construct of motherhood and how severely alienated mothers feel they are reflected in it. Because of the existing literature gap, literature on non-resident mothers will be explored and comparisons drawn. The research aims to aid in the empowerment of severely alienated mothers by taking PA out of the shadows and highlighting it in the public sphere.
Theorising effective social work support for non-residential mothers after separation or divorce
Presenter: Maegan Johnsen
Women who live apart from their children challenge deeply-entrenched, traditional ideologies of motherhood. As a result of their non-conformity, non-residential mothers are subjected to harsh criticism, social stigmatisation and rejection; by society as a whole and often by those who are closest to them. This grounded theory study explores the experiences of Australian non-residential mothers in order to theorise about effective social work support before, during and after relinquishment of parental responsibility. While existing research explores the lived experience of non-residential mothers, the results are predominantly descriptive in nature and do not apply findings to practice. When implications for social work practice are discussed, they appear to be based on the assumptions of the researchers, not the voice of the participants. Theories which emerge as a result of this qualitative study will be grounded in data which exists in the narratives of the non-residential mothers themselves. The inclusion of these marginalised voices in this study is purposive, as it encourages non-residential mothers to contribute to shaping theories about their own situation rather than simply allowing others to theorise about them. The aim of this study is to improve outcomes for non- residential mothers by expanding understanding in the social work profession and subsequently improving the effectiveness of social work support at all stages of relinquishment.
Eeny Meeny Miney Mo Foundation

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