Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Widow Narratives on Film and in Memoirs: Exploring Formula Stories of Grief and Loss of Older Women After the Death of a Spouse
by Bender, Jennifer R., Ph.D., University of South Florida, 2019, 144; 13904856
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation analyzes narratives (written and mediated) about widows’ post-loss experiences—specifically the ways in which these women embody and adjust/adhere to their post-loss widow identities—and whether or not the canonical/formula stories about widows reflect current experiences of widowhood. I look at older widowed women—both those in well-read widow memoirs and also in media portrayals of widows on film. The canonical view of widows as not attractive, not useful, and not interesting needs to be reexamined in light of changing ideas about gender roles and increased longevity. Surely older women have experiences, desires, and goals that encompass more than being socially invisible and caring for grandchildren. Given that 80% of women outlive their husbands (Mastekaasa, 1994; Peters & Liefbroer, 1997) and are an understudied and often overlooked population (Lopata, 1996), this heartfelt research is important.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Roscoe, Lori A.
Commitee: Berry, Keith, Jorgenson, Jane, Green, Sara
School: University of South Florida
Department: Communication
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: DAI-A 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Sociology, Gerontology
Keywords: Films, Memoirs, Narrative, Older, Thematic analysis, Widows
Publication Number: 13904856
ISBN: 9781085675734
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