Beckwith, Siobhan (2015) Managing the hurt: narratives of mothers living apart from their children. Masters thesis, University of Huddersfield.

This study examines the way mothers apart from their children are able to construct their mothering identities in the absence of children in their everyday lives. Following eight in depth interviews two narratives were constructed – of ‘incompleteness’ and ‘reflection’ both of which allow mothers to construct stories allowing them to maintain a ‘good mother’ narrative. Recognition was given to the co-constructed nature of narrative interviews and elements of community based participatory research were threaded into the study design. Two readings of the Listening guide were employed to analyse transcript alongside reflective writing explored in the context of Doucets’ metaphor of ‘gossamer walls’. “Franks” illness narratives of ‘chaos’ and ‘restitution’ were adapted to account for separation as a critical life event. This study demonstrates the multiple facets to mothers’ separation from children. This study reinforces the value of reflexivity within social research and the insight and contribution workers and community members are able to offer towards generating new knowledge. This study makes recommendations for future research and practice calling for more stories of mothers apart. The telling, hearing and learning from more stories can support new less limiting narratives to evolve with implications for knowledge and practice.

Managing_the_hurt_-_30.11.15.pdf - Accepted Version
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