Weaving Stories: Family Narratives in an Irish Context

    Research output: Types of ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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    This qualitative analysis sets out to explore family narratives in an Irish context. The study explores which aspects of spending time together are most significant for families. Special emphasis is placed on listening to the voices of children in the family which adds to the multiple voices that families portray. The main aim of this study is to discover children’s and parents’ experiences of family life in modern Ireland with specific regard to the time, space and activities shared together. In addition the study sets out to investigate how the business of modern living impacts on the time families spend together. Furthermore, it aims to determine whether certain rituals and routines are unique to each family or shared with other families. A sample of twelve families was interviewed; forty five participants including both children and adults. The conceptual framework informing this research draws on the child’s relationship to the world as outlined by Bronfenbrenner (1979) known as the bioecological model. This model contextualises the exploration of multiple voices within the research. Participant families were interviewed within their family contexts in the naturalistic setting of their homes. Family interviews were conducted as a unit, subsequently allowing the researcher uncover the co-construction of narrative and allowing for the children’s accounts to be of equal importance to the adults. Multiple voices emerged from the explorations which contribute significantly to the enhancement of knowledge about how family processes emerge and are sustained. This joint story telling within each of the families demonstrates the co-construction of family narratives as an important part of the culture of each family. Findings from the study support the often universal nature of experiences of family lives. The study contributes significantly to theoretical debates on family lives and informs methodological knowledge relating to the study of family life in Ireland.
    Original languageEnglish
    Awarding Institution
    • Waterford Campus
    • Byrne-Doran, Jacinta, Supervisor
    Award date04 Sep 2014
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2014


    • Family - Ireland


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