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Lee Smithbattle

In: Interpretive Phenomenology: Embodiment, Caring, and Ethics in Health and Illness

Chapter 8: Beyond Normalizing: The Role of Narrative in Understanding Teenage Mothers' Transition to Mothering

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Beyond Normalizing: The Role of Narrative in Understanding Teenage Mothers' Transition to Mothering
Beyond normalizing: The role of narrative in understanding teenage mothers' transition to mothering
LeeSmithbattle

Our modern understanding of parenting in general, and teenage mothering in particular, is increasingly shaped by abstract formal knowledge that virtually excludes narrative accounts and practical understanding of everyday experience. After briefly describing how scientific-technical normalizing practices have become the privileged form of explaining young mothers' lives, skills, and competence, I argue for narratives as a source for recovering the experiential terms by which young mothers and their families understand their lives. Tammy's story is told to demonstrate the role that narratives play in showing lives to be situated and organized by practical, rather than disengaged, rationality.

Tammy's narrative is ...

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