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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences eTheses
Title: Transitions to young adulthood after domestic abuse in childhood: A narrative analysis of young women's stories
Author(s): Beetham, Tanya
Supervisor(s): Callaghan, Jane
Engstrom, Sandra
Morrison, Fiona
Keywords: domestic abuse
domestic violence
young adulthood
feminist methods
Issue Date: 10-Jun-2020
Publisher: University of Stirling
Abstract: Those who experience domestic abuse in childhood have been recognised as directly impacted by these experiences. However, existing literature tends to focus on coping, resilience and outcomes, producing a picture that does not always capture other aspects of people’s stories. There is a lack of qualitative research about developmental transitions to young adulthood and how that is experienced by those who grew up with domestic abuse. This thesis explores the developmental transitions of young adult women who experienced domestic abuse in childhood. I interviewed women and used a voice-centred dialogical narrative analysis to explore their accounts. The analysis explores three narrative typologies that capture young women’s stories. These are: transitions, recoveries, and battles. Instead of linear stories, women’s transitions to young adulthood and their navigations of young adulthood consisted of ambiguities, multiplicities and contradictions. Stories of recoveries and transitions to young adulthood were not just shaped by individual biographies, relationships and histories, but they were also socially and culturally located. Women’s stories were shaped by neoliberal and gendered discourses surrounding ideologies of normative childhood, family life and recovery from adversities or trauma, which can offer useful stories to tell but can also significantly constrain how young women articulate their stories. This thesis concludes that it is necessary to attend to the nuances and pluralities of people’s experiences. Drawing on a dialogical philosophy, I conclude that attending to multiple stories and sometimes those that do not align to the dominant ‘script’, can shine light on experiences that are often marginalised. I suggest that feminist listening practices can support the listener to tune into these ambiguities and the ‘messiness’ of storied lives. Further, feminist listening practices can help the listener to reflexively lean into how their presence, knowledge and experiences may also shape what is speakable and how.
Type: Thesis or Dissertation

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