Mothering on the Margins: A Narrative Inquiry into the Experiences of Precariously Housed Women Negotiating Harm and Care.

  • Author / Creator
    Dewart, Georgia K
  • This paper-based doctoral dissertation explores the experiences of three women, who are precariously housed, and who disclosed substance use during their pregnancy or early post-partum period. Guided by narrative inquiry’s commitment to relational ethics and responsibilities, I formed close relationships with three participants - Nikki, Renate, and Marilynn. I developed relationships with each of the women, which allowed us to explore their complex and challenging experiences with care and harm reduction services. Through regular conversations and times spent alongside Nikki, Renate, and Marilynn during medical appointments, and day-to-day errands, our relationships grew. During this time, I took extensive field notes and tape-recorded some of our conversations. The development of interim research texts, named narrative accounts, were guided by these field texts and ongoing negotiations with Nikki, Renate, and Marilynn. In the final research texts, composed of three papers, I reflect on the substantive and methodological contributions of narrative inquiry in research and nursing care. I also return to the personal, practical, and social justifications that guided this research. This work serves to challenge practices that categorize or classify those who access health services, at the expense of relational care. Sharing the experiences of Nikki, Renate, Marilynn, and our relationships, encourages the recognition of substance use and transition into motherhood as complex, rich, heartfelt, and hopeful.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    Spring 2019
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
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