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Marital Separation in Contemporary Ireland

Women’s Experiences

Lucy Hyland

This book is based on detailed interviews with a group of Irish women who have experienced marital separation. It links the women’s accounts with literature on the values and beliefs about marriage, women and family which were prevalent when they were growing up in Ireland in the 1950s and 1960s. The book chronicles their young adult years, the early stages of their marriages and the events and processes which led to their separations. It explores the women’s emotional reactions at the time of separating, the types of support which they found beneficial and the personal, social and financial consequences of having separated.
Although the book is written from a sociological perspective, the combination of theory and practical insights make it accessible to a wide variety of readers. It aims to generate discussion and deepen understanding of an area into which there has been minimal research in Ireland and which poses a range of important questions for future researchers, practitioners and policy-makers.
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Chapter 11: Concluding Comments


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Concluding Comments

The purpose of this study was to explore the experiences of Irish women who separate in midlife and to give ‘voice’ to a cohort of women who have previously been invisible. The bulk of the writing consists of excerpts from interviews with fourteen Irish women who are separated. The aim is to generate discussion and deepen understanding on the part of professionals and the general public so that appropriate support can be provided for women in this situation. This chapter contains summaries of the data as they relate to the five research questions posed at the outset of the study.

Impact of Family and Cultural Attitudes to Separation

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