Title

Narrative Phenomenology in Fathering Occupations: An Ethnographic Study at the Intersection of Gender and Disability

Start Time

6-10-2012 3:10 PM

End Time

6-10-2012 3:40 PM

Session Type

Event

Abstract

Objectives:

Provide a brief overview of how the study of fathering occupations can provide insight into the enactment of fatherhood.

Describe the use of narrative phenomenology in order to study fathering occupations.

Provide examples of multiple methods in narrative phenomenology.

In this paper I will describe how I have employed what Mattingly (2010) calls narrative phenomenology in order to examine the experiences of men engaging in fathering occupations. Current research on fathers of children with disabilities is limited, particularly in finding ways to examine experience (Lamb, 2010). Studying fathering occupations provides insight into an extremely important aspect of many men’s lives. In this paper I focus on narrative phenomenology as a research methodology uniquely suited to study fathering occupations and present exemplars that illustrate the use of multiple perspectives within narrative phenomenology.

Narrative phenomenology serves as both a theoretical lens and a research methodology, employing an event centered approach in order to examine “near” experiences within cultural, social, and historical contexts. This approach is designed to capture multiple perspectives on experiences, both the every day and the extraordinary. Obtaining the perspectives of multiple actors allows for an event centered analysis of complex enacted narratives (Mattingly, 2010).

Perspectives analyzed include interviews with fathers and other family members, direct observations, field notes, and artifacts. Interviews will focus on obtaining narratives that define the enactment of fatherhood, recognizing the occupations that fathers participate in with their children, and eliciting rich descriptions of perceptions of having a child with a disability. Questions are open-ended intending to illicit narratives. Direct observations of men participating in fathering occupations allows for the examination of the personal, interpersonal, and structural conditions that drive the actions of fathering occupations. Observations will include fathers and children engaging together in a range of every day activities as well as memorable significant events. Video taping of observations is used to allow for microethnographic analysis.

Exemplars presented in this paper demonstrate the use of multiple perspectives around the event of a father taking his son swimming, gathered in my dissertation research. Though past researchers have struggled to grasp the experience of fatherhood, the use of narrative phenomenology allows for insight into the meaning and practices of fatherhood. Further, the use of narrative phenomenology provides insight into the enactment of fatherhood in daily life. Combining experience with representations of experience provides insight into the connections between individuals, families and social structures that determine participation in fathering occupations. Narrative phenomenology offers a unique perspective on studying occupations.

References

Lamb, M. E. (2010). How do fathers influence children's development? Let me count the ways. In M. E.

Lamb (Ed.), The role of the father in child development (5th ed., pp. 1-26). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Mattingly, C. (2010). The paradox of hope: A call to suffering. Berkley, CA: University of California Press

Comments

Research paper

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Oct 6th, 3:10 PM Oct 6th, 3:40 PM

Narrative Phenomenology in Fathering Occupations: An Ethnographic Study at the Intersection of Gender and Disability

Objectives:

Provide a brief overview of how the study of fathering occupations can provide insight into the enactment of fatherhood.

Describe the use of narrative phenomenology in order to study fathering occupations.

Provide examples of multiple methods in narrative phenomenology.

In this paper I will describe how I have employed what Mattingly (2010) calls narrative phenomenology in order to examine the experiences of men engaging in fathering occupations. Current research on fathers of children with disabilities is limited, particularly in finding ways to examine experience (Lamb, 2010). Studying fathering occupations provides insight into an extremely important aspect of many men’s lives. In this paper I focus on narrative phenomenology as a research methodology uniquely suited to study fathering occupations and present exemplars that illustrate the use of multiple perspectives within narrative phenomenology.

Narrative phenomenology serves as both a theoretical lens and a research methodology, employing an event centered approach in order to examine “near” experiences within cultural, social, and historical contexts. This approach is designed to capture multiple perspectives on experiences, both the every day and the extraordinary. Obtaining the perspectives of multiple actors allows for an event centered analysis of complex enacted narratives (Mattingly, 2010).

Perspectives analyzed include interviews with fathers and other family members, direct observations, field notes, and artifacts. Interviews will focus on obtaining narratives that define the enactment of fatherhood, recognizing the occupations that fathers participate in with their children, and eliciting rich descriptions of perceptions of having a child with a disability. Questions are open-ended intending to illicit narratives. Direct observations of men participating in fathering occupations allows for the examination of the personal, interpersonal, and structural conditions that drive the actions of fathering occupations. Observations will include fathers and children engaging together in a range of every day activities as well as memorable significant events. Video taping of observations is used to allow for microethnographic analysis.

Exemplars presented in this paper demonstrate the use of multiple perspectives around the event of a father taking his son swimming, gathered in my dissertation research. Though past researchers have struggled to grasp the experience of fatherhood, the use of narrative phenomenology allows for insight into the meaning and practices of fatherhood. Further, the use of narrative phenomenology provides insight into the enactment of fatherhood in daily life. Combining experience with representations of experience provides insight into the connections between individuals, families and social structures that determine participation in fathering occupations. Narrative phenomenology offers a unique perspective on studying occupations.