For Richer, For Poorer
Mothers Confront Divorce
By Demie Kurz
Routledge – 1995 – 300 pages
Series: Perspectives on Gender
For Richer, For Poorer provides a new perspective on the impact of divorce on women. Based on interviews with a random sample of divorced mothers, this book identifies their real concerns: inadequate resources from their ex-husbands and the state, and unequal social policies. Presenting accounts of how they manage the divorce process, divorced women of diverse background describe their attempts to rebuild their own lives and those of their families. Demie Kurz proposes a reversal of policies which penalize the single-parent family by failing to provide mothers and children with adequate resources.
"It is tremendously important for researchers and writers to offer all of the facts and arguments and criticisms they can muster in order to frame a new conversation about social policy when it becomes political possible to entertain it. Certainly, For Richer, For Poorer is a valuable contribution to this effort." -- The Boston Book Review
"For Richer, For Poorer is essentail reading for researchers interested in the study of marriage and divorce, and would be a valuable addition to the reading list for a course on family. I hope it also will be read carefully by policymakers engaged in debate over reforming divorce laws." -- Contemporary Sociology
"In all, Kurz has written a scholarly and readable book. It is essential reading for both academics and policy makers--for anyone interested in understanding the situations of motehrs during and after divorce. Because of its clarity, it would also be a valuable addition to an undergraduate course on the family. It is a lucid and engaging work." -- Gender & Society
"A vivid and often troubling portrait of women's diverse experiences of divorce. Shows that the process of divorce, like marriage, is deeply structured by gender, race, and class." -- Barrie Thorne, Professor, Sociology and Women's Studies, University of California, Berkeley and author of Gender Play
"This is an extraordinarily sophisticated and lucid portrayal of the realities and lives of divorced mothers. Read this book and ask no more why it is that women choose to leave their marriages even at the risk of economic hardship. This is a major and timely contribution to the study of marriage, family, and gender." -- Terry J. Arendell, Sociologist and author of Mothers and Divorce: Legal, Economic, and Social Dilemmas (1986) and Fathers and Divorce (1995)
"In For Richer, For Poorer, Kurz mixes sociological analysis with a skillful discussion of policy issues, probing the fragility of women's autonomy and the ease with which it can be discounted. Drawing on interviews with 129 divorced women of a variety of ages, races and classes in the Philadelphia area, she combines qualitative and quantitative approaches, including the women's narratives to document their own stories." -- Women's Review of Books
"For researchers, policymakers, or studnets interested in outcomes of divorce, Kurz's book is a contribution to the literature that offers a different angle on the aftermath of divorce for mothers." -- Journal of Marriage and the Family
Demie Kurz is Co-Director of the Women's Studies Program and has an appointment in Sociology at the University of Pennsylvania.