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    Reconstructing selves: an analysis of discrepancies between women’s contemporaneous and retrospective accounts of the transition to motherhood

    Smith, Jonathan A. (1994) Reconstructing selves: an analysis of discrepancies between women’s contemporaneous and retrospective accounts of the transition to motherhood. British Journal of Psychology 85 (3), pp. 371-392. ISSN 0007-1269.

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    Abstract

    This paper empirically examines the notion of self‐reconstruction. Accounts of personal identity were obtained from women at four time points during the transition to motherhood. The study compares the women's accounts of pregnancy recorded in real‐time with those obtained retrospectively – after the child's birth, and looks for discrepancies between them. The women's retrospective records of pregnancy point to a number of reconstructive narratives: glossing over difficulties, emphasizing personal growth, highlighting continuity of self, sometimes combining different narratives within the same retrospective report. The findings are theorized in terms of the notion of self‐reconstruction, whereby it is argued individuals modify their biographical presentations in order to produce self‐enhancing personal accounts. It is suggested that cognitive, motivational and rhetorical factors all play a part in this process.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2020 10:17
    Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 10:17
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/31238

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