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Title: Long lost storylines : narrative inquiry into the search for a missing parent
Author: Nolan-Miljevic, Jelena
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 0456
Awarding Body: University of Bristol
Current Institution: University of Bristol
Date of Award: 2015
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This research explores the narratives and narrative resources connected to the search for a missing parent (SMP) undertaken by people not previously recognised as searchers. Methods used are autoethnography, friendship as inquiry, writing as inquiry and fictional representations. Main research question is How do people who have searched for a missing parent create and to tell meaningful stories? What resources do they call upon? The findings identified several dominant narratives about the search for a missing parent- the narratives of search, bad place, missing piece, best interests of a child, happy ending and silence. These narratives sustain processes of marginalisation and stigmatisation of lived experience which doesn't fit in dominant narrative frameworks. This can have adverse effects on searcher, as five stories of personal experience demonstrate. The inquiry in personal narratives identified that stories of lived experience critique and challenge the state of things offered by dominant narratives and engage in resistance and critique of available stories. The personal stories were also written in order to encourage reader to think with them (Frank, 1994) and through that process critically examine their own convictions about the SMP. Juxtaposition of the personal and dominant stories outlined the need for more narratives which would empower and support searcher. The new narratives were then written up. Original contributions to knowledge arising from this research are: challenge to the concept of search as exclusively belonging to adoption studies; identifying processes of marginalisation and stigmatisation arising from dominant narratives and offering these as alternative explanatory frameworks for searcher's behaviours; demonstrating how stories of lived experience critique dominant narrative landscape and providing new narratives of search inspired by personal experiences as means to empower searchers. This research is the most relevant for fields of adoption studies, family studies and socio psychological narrative inquiry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available