Last updated: May 6, 2003
Narrative Psychology Search
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Narrative approaches have been widely used by psychologists and others studying the psychology of women. Significant efforts have been made to establish a broad set of resources detailing the life stories of women of varying backgrounds. Historical research has begun to uncover previously unknown or forgotten autobiographical resources describing the women of past eras and to present these for current review and evaluation.
- Carol Gilligan
- Catherine Kohler Riessman
Women's Studies Resources [U Maryland] An extremely comprehensive repository of information on topics as diverse as the following (selected items)
AUTOBIOGRAPHIES: Diverse Lives and Critiques (Fall, 1997; Thomas V. McGovern, Psychology, Arizona State U & Elizabeth McGovern, Intern, ASU] (see, also, Autobiographies subpage)
Belenky, M. F., Clinchy, B. McV., Goldberger, N. R., & Tarule, J. M. (1997/1986). Women's ways of knowing: The development of self, voice, and mind (10th anniv. ed.). New York: Basic Books. (see, also, Goldberger et al., 1996, below)
The influential epistemological study based on interviews with 135 young women from diverse backgrounds. The new edition contains a reflective prefatory essay by the original authors on the reception and conversation growing out of the original publication.
Benstock, S. (1988). The private self: Theory and practice of women's autobiographical writing. London: Routledge.
+Brodzki, B. & Schenck, C. M. (Eds.). (1988). Life lines: Theorizing women's autobiography. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. [HQ1185 .L54 1988]
+Culley, M. (Ed.). (1992). American women's autobiography: Fea(s)ts of memory. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.
Franz, C., & Stewart, A. (Eds.). (1994). Women creating lives: Identities, resilience, and resistance. Boulder, CO: Westview Press.
Fonow, M. M., & Cook, J. A. (Eds.). (1991). Beyond methodology: Feminist scholarship as lived research. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
Foster, P. (Ed.). (1996). Sister to sister: Women write about the unbreakable bond. New York: Anchor/Doubleday.
Stories by women about their relationships with their sisters.
+Furumoto, L. (1992). Joining separate spheres-Christine Ladd-Franklin, woman-scientist (1847-1930). American Psychologist, 47, 175-182.
Furumoto provides an historical analysis of the career of experimental psychologist, Christine Ladd-Franklin, and her struggle to overcome exclusionary forces within academic psychology who objected to women in the professional and scientific academy. How she "negotiated the boundaries" in achieving what was only only a partial success against the "male-dominated circle of psychology's scientific elite" provides a closing focus to this historical review.
+Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women's development. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Gluck, S. B., & Patai, D. (Eds.). (1991). Women's words: The feminist practice of oral history. New York: Routledge.
Goldberger, N. R., Tarule, J. M., Clinchy, B. McV., & Belenky, M. F. (Eds.). (1996). Knowledge, difference, and power: Essays inspired by Women's Ways of Knowing. New York: Basic Books.
A decade after their seminal volume (Belenky et. al., 1987, see above), the original authors of Women's Ways of Knowing gather together 14 essays to reflect on the questions of knowledge, gender, and feminist analysis across a variety of disciplinary fields. The original authors describe changes in their thinking and emendations to earlier text.
Levinson, D. J., & Levinson, J. D. (1996). The seasons of a woman's life. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Grounded in interviews with women conducted between 1980 and 1982, the late Yale psychologist, Daniel J. Levinson, examines the life transitions of women during early adulthood (18 to 45 years old). A companion to his 1978 The Seasons of a Man's Life. Levinson emphasizes the absence of clear goals in the lives of women as they enter this period of development, a contrast to his finding among men in the 1970s. At the middle and end of early adulthood, these women report the need to integrate traditionally "masculine" traits into their personalities in order to achieve a sense of progress and growth.
Mathews, H. F., Lannin, D. R., & Mitchell, J. P. (1994). Coming to terms with advanced breast cancer: Black women's narratives from Eastern North Carolina. Special Issue: Narrative representations of illness and healing. Social Science and Medicine, 38, 789-800.
+Personal Narratives Group (Eds.). (1989). Interpreting women's lives: Feminist theory and personal narratives. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [HQ1185.I58 1989]
+Reinharz, S. (1992). Feminist methods in social research. New York: Oxford University Press. [HQ1180.R448 1992]
Riessman, C. K. (1989). Life events, meaning and narrative: The case of infidelity and divorce. Social Science & Medicine, 29, 743-51.
Three people are interviewed about the "same" life event of marital infidelity and divorce. The importance of the personal meanings assigned by these individuals to the same type of life event is illustrated by the author's comparative analysis of their narratives.
Riessman, C. K. (1990). Divorce talk: Woman and men make sense of personal relationships. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
Riessman, C. K. (1991). Beyond reductionism: Narrative genres in divorce accounts. Journal of Narrative and Life History, 1, 41-68.
Riessman, C. K. (1992). Making sense of marital violence: One woman's narrative. In G. C. Rosenwald & R. L. Ochberg (Eds.), Storied lives: The cultural politics of self-understanding (pp. 231-249). New Haven, CT: Yale University Press. [BF697.S844 1992]
Riessman, C. K. (1994). Making sense of marital violence. In C. K. Riessman (Ed.), Qualitative studies in social work research (pp. 113-138). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Romero, P. W. (Ed.). (1988). Life histories of African women. Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Ashfield Press. [HQ1787.A3 L54 1988]
Compendium of case studies of eight Sub-Saharan African women, their lives, and social conditions.
Rose, P. (Ed.) (1993). The Norton book of women's lives. New York: W. W. Norton. [CT3225.R67 1993]
Sixty-one selections from the 20th century literature of women's lives: autobiographies, journals, and memoirs (brought together by Phyllis Rose).
Scarborough, E. (1992). Mrs. Ricord and psychology for women, circa 1840. American Psychologist, 47, 274-280.
Examines the context for the 1840 publication of the first comprehensive textbook of psychology by a woman, Elizabeth Ricord, who taught mental philosophy at the Geneva Female Seminary.
Sipe, B., & Hall, E. J. (1996). I am not your victim: Anatomy of domestic violence. Sage series on violence against women, Vol. 1. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Sipe recounts her story which led to the taking of the life of her sadistically-abusive husband. Hall, her therapist and second author of this volume, provides a commentary on Sipe's story; others in the therapeutic, medical, and legal professions also provide comments on this case.
Smith, S. (1987). A poetics of women's autobiography: Marginality and the fictions of self-representations. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press.
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