Sharing our stories : celebrating critically reflective psychological textual practice : a thesis presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Psychology at Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand

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Massey University
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This study involves my engaging with ideas through three interweaving, storied strands: some personal experiences of my own, the historical development of the academic discipline of psychology, and the pivotal autobiographical vignettes in five psychological articles. Ethical considerations permeate the overlapping theoretical, metaphorical and analytical processes of this work. I consider how writers and readers can engage together through the reflexive sharing of personal narratives, working toward interpretations of experiences in terms of subject positionings within powerful cultural discourses. A metaphorical perspective is integrated into my research process to help me in my attempts to articulate and evoke some fleeting traces of meaning through the elusive symbolic system of language. My analyses of the five focus pieces of writing attend to their skilfully metaphorical, critically reflective use of language within a supportive, nurturing discursive space. This thesis celebrates the transformational possibilities inherent in these pieces of psychological counter-practice. I believe these writers usefully address social sciences' 'crisis' concerns around the relationship of psychology with 'real' people, enabling re-interpretations of experiences in terms of gender and social power relationships and the fashioning of different, more useful meanings for our storied, culturally directed experiences.
Discourse analysis, Narrative -- Psychological aspects, Psychology -- Biographical methods, Identity (Psychology)