Second shifts and political awakenings: Divorce and the political socialization of middle-aged women

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Abstract

Links between personal life events (e.g., divorce) and political socialization have been understudied, particularly in midlife populations. This study examined a longitudinal sample of 98 female graduates from the University of Michigan class of 1967. Participants were divided into two groups: divorced (N = 27) and married (N = 71). T-tests and Chi-Square analyses were used to examine differences between groups for political orientation, power discontent, system blame, feminist identity, common fate, social responsibility, and political participation. Results showed that divorced women, when compared with married women, had a more liberal/radical political orientation, more system blame for gender, active commitment to feminist identity, and a sense of common fate with other women. No significant differences were found for measures of past or current political involvement. Implications for normative life events to restructure political viewpoints and attitudes are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-66
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Divorce and Remarriage
Volume47
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 12 2007

Keywords

  • Divorce
  • Divorce and midlife
  • Divorce and women
  • Political socialization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Law

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