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Title: An exploration of women's identity during menopause : a Grounded Theory study
Author: Sergeant, Judith
ISNI:       0000 0004 5921 0248
Awarding Body: University of Roehampton
Current Institution: University of Roehampton
Date of Award: 2016
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This study is an exploration of how menopause affects women’s identity. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 12 women and analysed following constructivist Grounded Theory methods (Charmaz, 2006). The grounded theory developed seeks to explain the social processes involved in shaping the meaning women made of menopause and the impact of these meanings for their lives and social roles. Participants gave accounts of menopause situated in the unique circumstances of their lives, and described seeking to continue constructing a narrative of their life, while their body and place in the social world shifted. Cavarero’s (1997/2000) concept of the narratable self was used to understand the impact of menopause on identity as a struggle to be seen as ‘who’ I am rather than the blanketing ‘what’ of menopausal narratives. The study shows a biomedical discourse and a focus on women as childbearers constructing menopause as marking transition to another phase of life. This necessitated renegotiation of role and status in the face of menopause narratives questioning women’s relevance, vigour, attractiveness and emotional stability. This account of a transition can enable women to refocus on their goals and wellbeing. The study has observed a social etiquette of keeping menopause hidden, impacting women’s managing at menopause and enabling dismissive menopausal narratives to persist. The strain of continuing their life story whilst negotiating these changes and keeping menopause hidden led to an emotional reaction in many participants. Implications are considered for Counselling Psychologist practice and services for menopausal women and suggestions made for further research.
Supervisor: Moon, Lyndsey ; Rizq, Rosemary Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available