“A Strong Feeling of Togetherness”: A Group of Low-income Single Mothers Bargain for Their Place in Academia

Zeev Greenberg, Yahel Kurlander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study examined the characteristics of class activism in a community college as demonstrated by single mothers, first-generation students from peripheral regions. Building on theories of class and intersectionality, we wished to understand the ways in which single mothers conceptualize their experience in academia, as individuals and as a group, and which coping mechanisms they, as a marginal group, employ. The study utilized a qualitative methodology of semi-structured interviews to examine the coping strategies and class-group creation process by the single mothers in a special academic program designed for underprivileged populations. The findings suggest that the single-mother students in the program managed to find their own voice in a space initially foreign to them. They managed to create a class-based group and consciousness, develop critical thinking patterns through their studies, form connections with senior officials and utilize their unique position to better serve their own interests. This paper offers a new perspective in examining the processes of class awareness construction in groups that have been traditionally excluded from the academic sphere. The findings in our research contribute to the discourse on class definition, particularly of the lower classes and their introduction into spaces that have been undergoing change in the neo-liberal age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)678-695
Number of pages18
JournalCommunity College Journal of Research and Practice
Issue number11
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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