Advocacy and the Magdalene Laundries: towards a psychology of social change

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Abstract

This article will describe how a project documenting inter- views with survivors of Ireland’s Magdalene Laundries explores the relationship between psychology and advocacy. The Waterford Memories Project focuses on documenting survivor narratives both for subsequent qualitative analysis and a publicly accessible record of the women’s experiences about events, which remain silenced and hidden in Irish society. The process of documenting the women’s narratives is, in itself, an action toward social change because it chal- lenges the lacuna of information and data available from the Irish Government and Religious Orders. The archives of the Laundries are heavily restricted, and the women’s voices sup- pressed, which has implications for the ability of survivors to integrate their experiences of violence into personal narra- tives. In this project, an action-approached focus to psycho- logical research with the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries provides strong evidence for the suitability of applying psychological methods to social and moral issues.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQUALITATIVE RESEARCH IN PSYCHOLOGY
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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