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Title: Gozitan women : a study on the transition from marriage into widowhood
Authors: Cutajar, JosAnn
Keywords: Women -- Malta -- Gozo
Married women -- Malta -- Gozo
Marriage -- Malta -- Gozo
Widows -- Malta -- Gozo
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: University of Malta. Gozo Campus
Citation: Cutajar, J. (2018). Gozitan women : a study on the transition from marriage into widowhood. Gozo Observer, 37, 17-26.
Abstract: The focus of this paper is on how a sample of young Gozitan women transitioned into widowhood. In this research I utilised personal narratives, interviews with service providers, as well as statistical and textual analysis to find out what barriers widowed Gozitan women faced as gendered, classed, ethnicised and aged individuals in their communities and in their dealings with Maltese state structures, practices and service provision. This study looks at succession and social welfare discourses prevalent within the Maltese Islands. The focus is on how these discourses and practices positioned the fourteen women who took part in this research project, and how these women negotiated/or resisted these discourses and practices. An underlying theme in this paper is location and positionality. This text revolves around Gozo’s location within the nation and the women’s location within the community. These multiple levels of locations had an impact on the kind of societal developed resources the fourteen women could access in their dealings with bureaucratic structures and practices. Knowledge of and comprehension of state discourses and practices also seemed to be influenced by the location and positionality of the community vis-a-vis the political centre, although the individual’s location within the community was also taken into consideration. This research made it evident that the positionality of various groups within the nation, and the position of the women within the group, altered the experience of citizenship for those concerned. The transition from marriage into widowhood takes place either gradually or suddenly. Some of the respondents spent years taking care of a sick and/or disabled husband, watching him waste away in front of their eyes. In the case of others, the husband’s passing away was sudden. The family’s socioeconomic location within the community, together with the community’s location in the nation-state and the nation-state’s location within the global context came to mediate access to social services and resources.
Appears in Collections:The Gozo Observer - Issue 37, Winter 2017
The Gozo Observer - Issue 37, Winter 2017

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