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An Autobiography of Health: A Study of Health and Identity Amongst Perimenopausal Women

By Jacqueline Christodoulou


This paper presents a qualitative exploration of how perimenopausal women\ud construct and re-construct their health identity. Using a narrative approach, 30\ud women between the ages of 35 and 55 were interviewed twice. A narrative\ud methodology was employed involving the study of tones and images in the\ud narrative accounts, in addition to thematic analysis. The research shows that\ud women consider reproductive health to be pathological, but of paramount\ud importance in the construction of the health identity. The embodiment of these\ud reproductive milestones in the world is explored through examining, personal,\ud interpersonal, positioned and situated (Murray, 2000) tones, themes and images\ud throughout the accounts. Additionally, themes of health strategising were\ud explored and revealed the importance of both wellbeing and illness in social\ud constructions of the health identity. A reflexive approach to the research\ud grounds this study in Oldham, a socially and economically deprived\ud regeneration area in the UK, and enables the voices of previously unheard\ud women to emerge through the research in a person-centred account of health\ud identity construction

Topics: HQ, R1
Publisher: University of Huddersfield
Year: 2006
OAI identifier:

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