Reflexive conversations with bereaved mothers: a feminist and contextual perspective

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Virginia Tech


In this study, the experiences and perspectives of 10 bereaved mothers were investigated. The research was guided by a feminist and contextual perspective. A contextual theory of stress supports an examination of the perspectives of individuals in families regarding the impact of stressful circumstances. Individuals are assumed to be both active and responsive to the social system which includes individual, dyadic, familial, social, community, and cultural levels of analysis. A feminist perspective emphasizes reflexivity, collaboration, emotionality, and accessibility in the process of research and focuses attention to broader cultural ideologies which influence the lives of individuals. Women's lives carry with them the assumption of motherhood and the protection of children. When a young child dies, mothers find themselves in a marginalized social category