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Title: An exploration of the experiences of parents who have a baby described as having a learning difficulty
Author: Wright, Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 2721 0972
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
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As parent researcher and in light of perceived failings of studies found in the literature this research explores the experiences of parents who have a baby described as having a learning difficulty by employing an alternative broad methodology underpinned by ‘critical hermeneutic phenomenology’. The subsequent ethical trials of adopting such an approach are scrutinised as this bears important relevance to the overall finding that parents’ perspectives are rarely taken into account by those who have little or no experience themselves. Empirical data is generated via recorded and transcribed conversational interviews with four parent participants where the content subsequently informs the critical subject matter discussed throughout the work. The hermeneutic endeavour utilises Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) as a guiding channel and although participants’ informed consent for the interpreted construction of experience was gained beforehand, significant limitations with this specific process are highlighted. As such, the methods of work in progress are presented in detail with additional reflexive commentary in the extended appendices to facilitate reader understanding of the development of interpretation as well as to promote confidence in the integrity and ability of the researcher and satisfaction regarding the overall quality of the composition. The findings reveal that parental experience as ‘phenomenon’ can be contemplated as an emotional passage of a ‘self’ that is embroiled in ‘abnormal’ circumstance made most complex via impinging myriad forms of societal organisation. From the data generated, the latter is recognised as being subject to historical legacy at micro as well as macro levels, over time and according to cultural belief. In support of this finding, the socio-historic concept is explored more fully in a dedicated chapter. Further empirical evidence suggests that parents strive to achieve their perceived understandings of normality as brought to consciousness through the associations they make with others and their social environment. Parental activities specifically reveal individual pressures arising as a result of inter-sectional social systems where perceived work and gender roles (for example) also expose anti-social moralistic behaviours. Encouraging further work which promotes a ‘perspectives approach’ to advance the understanding of parents and their experiences, the thesis concludes with realistic expectations for progression towards an improved societal moral condition.
Supervisor: Howes, Andy. ; Chapman, Rohhss. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: parents ; learning difficulties ; critical hermenteutic phenomenology ; anti-social morals