Narrative, change and identity : the experiences of men in informal caring roles
mesheuropmc: health care economics and organizations
This study examines the experiences of men who undertake the care of sick or disabled relatives. The modes of entry into carer careers are discussed, and the actual components of caring are described. The efforts of male informal carers to present themselves as coherent and worthy moral agents are described. Adaptations to caring as manifested in fantasy and daydreaming are examined. The entry into caring is seen to occasion a certain disruption in the continuing self-narratives of the men in the study, which amounts to a thorough threat to identities. The role of narrative in the formation and reformation of the self is discussed. It is argued that caring has disrupted the usual relation to masculinity for male carers, and that this is an important component of narrative disruption. Its restitution is important to successful caring. Certain narrative styles are associated with certain responses to caring, and the relationship between these is adduced and examined. An association between the form of narrative reformation, attitude to masculinity and caring style is identified, and this is correlated with adaptation to, and success in, the caring situation.
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