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.
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.
|Keywords||Psychology; transition; motherhood; pregnancy; narrative; drug; heroin; addiction; evolution; learning; theory.|
|Conference||ESREA Life History and Biographic Research Network Conference|
El-Bassel, N., Gilbert, L., Rajah, V., Foleno, A. & Frye, V. (2001). Social support among women in methadone treatment who experience partner violence: Isolation and male controlling behavior, Violence Against Women, 7, 3, 246.
|Publication process dates|
|Deposited||08 Jan 2014|
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