'I know I'm doing a good job': canonical and autobiographical narratives of teenage mothers

Kirkman, Maggie, Harrison, Lyn, Hillier, Lynne and Pyett, Priscilla 2001, 'I know I'm doing a good job': canonical and autobiographical narratives of teenage mothers, Culture, health and sexuality, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 279-294.


Title 'I know I'm doing a good job': canonical and autobiographical narratives of teenage mothers
Author(s) Kirkman, Maggie
Harrison, Lyn
Hillier, Lynne
Pyett, Priscilla
Journal name Culture, health and sexuality
Volume number 3
Issue number 3
Start page 279
End page 294
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2001-07
ISSN 1369-1058
1464-5351
Keyword(s) AIDS & HIV
behavioral medicine
gay & lesbian studies
health & medical anthrolopology
medical sociology
public health - medical sociology
risk
sex education
sexuality
sexuality - gender studies
Summary Teenage pregnancy is typically presented as a problem to be solved, if not as an epidemic in need of urgent intervention. This paper reports on Australian research that examined the phenomenon of teenage motherhood from the perspective of the young women themselves. The theoretical frame of narrative was adopted in order to understand both the way in which the young mothers were making sense of their own lives, and the way in which they interpreted the canonical narrative of teenage motherhood. Interviews with 20 young mothers demonstrated both their awareness of the canonical narrative, in which they are judged and condemned, and their contrasting autobiographical narratives, in which they are represented as good mothers who are capable of learning the skills of motherhood. Although the women refused to emphasise the disadvantages of teenage motherhood, they acknowledged difficulties. Throughout their autobiographical accounts, a 'consoling plot' was evident. Young women may be supported in their endeavour to emplot their lives to their own benefit by family narratives of teenage motherhood.
Language eng
Field of Research 160801 Applied Sociology, Program Evaluation and Social Impact Assessment
HERDC Research category C2 Other contribution to refereed journal
Copyright notice ©2001, Taylor & Francis Ltd
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30012341

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Scientific and Developmental Studies in Education
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