Making sense of the unbelievable : a biographical narrative study of men's stories of female abuse

Corbally, MA 2011, Making sense of the unbelievable : a biographical narrative study of men's stories of female abuse , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Intimate partner abuse is a serious social issue. The professional practice of education has a mandate to foster competent health and social care practitioners (biographical caretakers) to appropriately care for others. Presently, there is a lack of understanding about how men account for their experiences of female abuse. This is because of prevailing discourses which render men's vulnerability as 'unbelievable'. This study examined how men in Ireland accounted for their experiences of abuse in their life stories. Using the ten stages of analysis in 'classic' Biographical Narrative Interpretive Method, three cases are presented which were analysed from a social constructionist perspective. The study found that men account for their abuse experiences uniquely. They construct abuse as both an individual and collective endeavour. Dominant conflicting discourses of masculinity and intimate partner abuse disadvantaged both men and their biographical caretakers firstly in identifying abuse and secondly in responding appropriately. Although men use abuse narratives in accounting for their experience, they are more comfortable using dominant narratives of fatherhood and being a husband in constructing the abuse experience. The biographical work of reflection was found to be instrumental in recognising abuse as serious and appeared to speed recovery in the reconstruction of self. These cases illustrate the inadequacy of current abuse definitions and policy which whilst it is changing, remains engendered. Greater sensitivity of biographical caretakers to the biographical process structures and their influence on how individuals present themselves is recommended as a goal for educators. Similarly, use of dominant discourses in talking about abuse with men and promoting the process of safe biographical reflection for those experiencing intimate partner abuses is recommended as helpful practices to recognise and respond to the problem of abuse. This study proves useful in illuminating men's realities through a novel methodology. It is hoped mat the findings of the study prompt further exploration into this under researched area.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Hicks, S (Supervisor)
Schools: Schools > School of Health and Society
Depositing User: Institutional Repository
Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 13:34
Last Modified: 04 Aug 2022 11:26

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