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Biography and turning points in Europe and America$
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Karla B. Hackstaff and Feiwel Kupferberg

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9781847428608

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.001.0001

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date: 23 August 2017

Complicating actions and complicated lives: raising questions about narrative theory through an exploration of lesbian lives

Complicating actions and complicated lives: raising questions about narrative theory through an exploration of lesbian lives

Chapter:
(p.187) Eight Complicating actions and complicated lives: raising questions about narrative theory through an exploration of lesbian lives
Source:
Biography and turning points in Europe and America
Author(s):

Nicki Ward

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781847428608.003.0009

Ward looks at changing family structures in modern society, in this case Britain, and asks the theoretical questions: how might turning points help public-private analyses?; what constitutes a turning point?; who has the right to define turning points? Ward takes a material discursive approach, and applies it to the biographic-narrative participatory method. A life story interview and a stage two analytic interview were conducted with nine women between the ages of 26 and 49 who identify as lesbian. Aiming to ascertain respondents’ starting points, Ward examines the narratives of lesbians in terms of their imagined life course trajectories, experienced contradictions, and their agentic responses. While she argues that turning points provide a useful focus of analysis in research that seeks to explore the interaction between public and private discourses and identity, she also contends that we need to consider ethically whether scholars, in contrast to participants, have the right to define turning points.

Keywords:   turning points, narrative theory, family, lesbians, life course trajectories, material discursive approach, biographic-narrative, participatory method, Britain

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