Intentional psychology, accidental biography: using a post hoc lens of biography to view the development of a psychological theory of learning and evolution during simultaneous life transitions of becoming a mother and recovering from heroin addiction.

Christie, S. (2013) Intentional psychology, accidental biography: using a post hoc lens of biography to view the development of a psychological theory of learning and evolution during simultaneous life transitions of becoming a mother and recovering from heroin addiction. In: ESREA Life History and Biographic Research Network Conference, 28th February - 3rd March 2013, Canterbury.

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Abstract

This paper concerns a review of a piece of qualitative psychological research with a view to identifying to what extent biographical methods were unintentionally employed and ultimately whether the worth of the research is elevated or lessened by this disciplinary blending. At the time I felt I had successfully given these marginalized, demonized women a voice and that they had used this voice to clearly articulate their needs, fears, hopes and desires. And yet, through my newly discovered lens of biography, I ask myself if some ‘truth’ in the women’s stories may have been blurred by the rigours of methodological control or a restrictive structure of psychologically-informed theory development. I want to argue this is not the case. Instead, I believe my research is fortified by the synergy of psychology and biography and, for that matter, the many other disciplines it dips its toe into. A marriage of idealism and pragmatics, the outcome is a theory which represents a version of the participants’ biographies, gives the women a voice they had not previously had but which is furthermore enhanced by a practical utility conferred by its interdisciplinary nature.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Psychology; transition; motherhood; pregnancy; narrative; drug; heroin; addiction; evolution; learning; theory.
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0076.5 Psychology research
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman > HQ0755.7 Parents. Parenthood
R Medicine > R Medicine (General) > R0726.7 Health psychology
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Health and Social Care > Research Centre for Children, Families and Communities
Depositing User: Dr Sarah Christie
Date Deposited: 08 Jan 2014 16:12
Last Modified: 11 Dec 2014 14:12
URI: https://create.canterbury.ac.uk/id/eprint/12518

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00