gender, stigma; single motherhood, socio-biography, biographic narrative
‘Single’ women continue to experience stigma during pregnancy and mothering in the Republic of Ireland. This article explores the experiences of stigma of single women who are pregnant and mothering in Ireland between 1996 and 2010. The Biographic Narrative Interpretive Method (BNIM) was used to elicit biographical narratives. Analysis on both the lived experience of the women and the social context of the time created a ‘situated subjectivity’ in a socio-cultural context. This article argues that despite large-scale positive social change before and during this period, single women’s pregnancy and motherhood continues to be stigmatized in Ireland. Women experience this stigma in their everyday interactions. They negotiate stigma in their personal and social lives, employing strategies that draw on material and symbolic resources available to them. Social class, ethnicity and time are among factors that mediate the experience, but can also intersect in particular social locations to create a more stigmatized identity.