Single parents in Swedish media

illustration på föräldrar i olika situationerIllustration:Linnea Blixt

The project explores how the concept “lone parent” gains meaning in Sweden in the twenty-first century. With mediated representations of lone parents (parenthood, parenting) in news media, life writing, film, and television as its empirical basis, the project investigates and theorizes contemporary understandings of this familial phenomenon.

Who are lone parents?

Demographic, political, technological, and legal changes in the past two decades have effects on who is a lone parent in Sweden, and under what circumstances. Numbers of lone-parent families depend on, inter alia, social developments as diverse as migration, divorce/separation and re-constituted families, and developments in Assisted Reproductive Technologies.

Everyday phenomenon or special case?

Currently, twenty-five per cent of all children in Sweden have parents who do not live together. Hence, experiences of lone parenthood are widespread in contemporary Sweden. However, while the lone parent (especially the lone mother) is often seen as part of the “everyday” of family lives in Sweden, they also figure as a “special case” that counters family/couple norms, and in ways that are heavily linked to gender, class, ethnicity, and age.

Interdisciplinary studies yield new knowledge

The project contributes important new knowledge about how lone parents are conceptualized and represented, and how social realities of lone parents gain visibility in different genres in contemporary Sweden. The project is interdisciplinary and explores lone parenthood via perspectives from cultural studies, social science, and gender studies.

Last modified: 2021-01-26