Reconstruction of the Experience of Single Mothers in Poverty -The Meaning of Self-Sufficiency, Welfare Dependency, and Work-

빈곤 여성 한부모 자활 경험의 재구성 -자활, 복지의존, 일의 의미-

  • Received : 2015.10.01
  • Accepted : 2015.11.12
  • Published : 2015.11.30


This qualitative study is designed for the reconstruction of the experience of single mothers in poverty based on the bottom-up approach. Welfare dependency is identified as vital help to protect their own and children's lives, through their stories telling that welfare services provided by government and community take care of them "in place of their husbands", and "raise them up by hand." What is self-sufficiency to them is more of a process-orientation through welfare dependency than a state out of it, and a way to look through building their self-esteem and working to discover their self-worth except their economic power. Restoring their potential to self-sufficiency through dealing with their psycho-social stresses and expanding services for them related to child-care(education) and occupation ability development for long-term self-sufficiency, rather than hasty focusing on welfare exit, should be built on the foundation of helping them self-sufficient. In order for the self-sufficiency program to overcome the participant's images of "subordination and stigma" and to convey the original meaning of "welfare to work", the performance and evaluation system of self-sufficiency programs that reflects the insider's perspectives on their participation motive and process, and the self-sufficiency program customized for their needs and interests should be encouraged to develop.