Download the full-sized PDF of Shifting Focus: A Videographic Inquiry of Hope and Unplanned PregnancyDownload the full-sized PDF



Permanent link (DOI):


Export to: EndNote  |  Zotero  |  Mendeley


This file is in the following communities:

Graduate Studies and Research, Faculty of


This file is in the following collections:

Theses and Dissertations

Shifting Focus: A Videographic Inquiry of Hope and Unplanned Pregnancy Open Access


Other title
arts-based research
videographic inquiry
unplanned pregnancy
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Johnson, J. Lauren
Supervisor and department
Larsen, Denise (Educational Psychology)
Examining committee member and department
Yohani, Sophie (Educational Psychology)
Clandinin, Jean (Secondary Education)
Meagher, Michelle (Women's Studies)
Buck, George (Educational Psychology)
Moore, Sharon (Centre for Nursing and Health Studies, Athabasca University)
Department of Educational Psychology
Counselling Psychology
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
What happens when women, so long the subjects of art rather than the authors, turn the camera on ourselves? This question informed the basis of my dissertation research on women’s experiences of hope and unplanned pregnancy. In a medium-sized Western Canadian city, I engaged in a videographic inquiry (an arts-based qualitative research study) to address the following questions: (a) how is unplanned pregnancy described by women who have lived through it? (b) what role does hope play in the mothers’ unplanned pregnancies? and (c) what might helping professionals do to help women facing an unplanned pregnancy? When asked to create short videos about their unplanned pregnancy experiences, the co-participants in this study created stories that had been entirely unexpected; although a great deal of the literature on unplanned pregnancy in the fields of health and psychology tells a story of woe and misfortune, we performed our stories as love stories, comedies, and fairy tales. Given the great disconnect between what has been written about unplanned mothers and the tales we told about ourselves, I explored this chasm from a feminist perspective. Using narrative, discourse, and film analyses, I address the contrast between the grand narrative told about us in the literature on unplanned pregnancy and the narrative of resistance that we told about ourselves through the audio-visual medium of video. In this dissertation, I discuss my understandings gathered through this research experience and invite a feminist, and indeed feminine, revision of the grand narrative on unplanned pregnancy. In doing so, I hope that this dissertation may illuminate the disconnect between the lived experience, the performance of our lived experience, and the grand narrative of unplanned motherhood, and serve as the impetus to author a new story—our own story—of hope and resilience in the face of unplanned pregnancy.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Johnson, J.L. (2011). Going home. Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, 2(1). 190-195.

File Details

Date Uploaded
Date Modified
Audit Status
Audits have not yet been run on this file.
File format: pdf (Portable Document Format)
Mime type: application/pdf
File size: 13644338
Last modified: 2015:10:12 15:59:58-06:00
Filename: Johnson_Lauren_Spring 2013.pdf
Original checksum: a2da4b6658ea8869c1f518719044c919
Well formed: true
Valid: true
Status message: File header gives version as 1.4, but catalog dictionary gives version as 1.3
File title: Microsoft Word - Shifting Focus THESIS SUBMISSION.docx
File author: Lauren Johnson
Page count: 213
Activity of users you follow
User Activity Date