Stepmothers in narratives : negotiations on relatedness
Murtorinne-Lahtinen, M., & Jokinen, K. (2018). Stepmothers in narratives : negotiations on relatedness. Families, Relationships and Societies, 7(2), 285-300. https://doi.org/10.1332/204674316X14676453666553
Published inFamilies, Relationships and Societies
© Policy Press, 2018
This study contributes to the existing stepmother research by focusing on interaction as an aspect of stepmother identity construction. Accordingly, identity is seen as negotiated through interaction with other family members. A narrative approach applied to 58 stories written by Finnish stepmothers yielded three identity types: identity restricted by a biological mother, stepmother-centred identity, and team parenthood identity. The most dominant feature, common to all the stories, was that stepmothers perceived themselves primarily in relation to the children's biological mothers, a stance that often led them to feel threatened. Stepmother identity construction appeared to be problematic in many respects, and thus required reflection and negotiation. However, this did not resolve the above-mentioned issues. The present findings indicated that fathers might be placed in a unique role in the father, mother and stepmother triangle.
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