The Different Roles of Parents and Friends: Support for Divorce and Repartnering Following Martial Dissolution among Latina and White Women

Catherine McNamee*, Lisa Smyth

*Corresponding author for this work

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What role do significant others play in orientations to repartnering following divorce? Situated within critical role theory, and focusing on 23 white and Latina divorcees from Texas (the United States), this paper examines orientations toward repartnering in the light of distinct friend and parent expectations. While friends were sources of sympathy and affirmation, parents were more interventionist, indicating moral expectations. Parents either encouraged repartnering as the route to a happy future, or discouraged it on grounds that first marriage creates sacred, unbreakable bonds. The former response was more common among whites, and the latter more common among Latinas. The paper argues that the expectations of friends and parents are taken account of during this transitional period, in positive and negative ways, as orientations toward marriage, divorce, and repartnering were explained and justified.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSociological Perspectives
Early online date22 Sep 2018
Publication statusEarly online date - 22 Sep 2018



  • divorce, remarriage, social roles, parenthood, friendship

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