Christodoulou, Jacqueline (2006) An Autobiography of Health: A Study of Health and Identity Amongst Perimenopausal Women. In: Narrative, Memory & Knowledge: Representations, Aesthetics, Contexts. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 127-134.
Abstract

This paper presents a qualitative exploration of how perimenopausal women
construct and re-construct their health identity. Using a narrative approach, 30
women between the ages of 35 and 55 were interviewed twice. A narrative
methodology was employed involving the study of tones and images in the
narrative accounts, in addition to thematic analysis. The research shows that
women consider reproductive health to be pathological, but of paramount
importance in the construction of the health identity. The embodiment of these
reproductive milestones in the world is explored through examining, personal,
interpersonal, positioned and situated (Murray, 2000) tones, themes and images
throughout the accounts. Additionally, themes of health strategising were
explored and revealed the importance of both wellbeing and illness in social
constructions of the health identity. A reflexive approach to the research
grounds this study in Oldham, a socially and economically deprived
regeneration area in the UK, and enables the voices of previously unheard
women to emerge through the research in a person-centred account of health
identity construction.

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