The presentation of a moral self in personal narratives

May, Vanessa (2008) The presentation of a moral self in personal narratives. In: Vital Signs: Researching Real Life, 9-11 September 2008, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)


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This paper examines how mothers negotiate the sometimes tricky waters of presenting themselves as ‘moral’ given potential or actual breaches against social norms governing motherhood. I look particularly at the case of divorce/separation and lone motherhood in Finnish women’s written life stories. The life stories offer insights into how individuals account for their actions in situations where they face the moral dilemma of clashing ethical norms – care for self and care for children – and how individuals with a (potentially) ‘spoiled identity’ manage a moral presentation of self. The paper concludes by critically examining the consequences of using written life stories rather than face-to-face interviews as data in a study of the moral tales that individuals tell.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Subjects:4. Qualitative Data Handling and Data Analysis > 4.23 Qualitative Approaches (other)
ID Code:1028
Deposited By: Realities user
Deposited On:21 May 2010 15:50
Last Modified:12 Oct 2010 17:44

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