Narratives of adolescent girls journeying via feminist participatory action research through the aftermath of divorce
Botha, Carolina S.
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This article documents the (often counter-normative) narrative journey of four South African adolescent girls whose biological parents had divorced - and one (or both) parent(s) remarried. Through purposive sampling within a qualitative research paradigm of feminist participatory action research, they were supported in group context by the primary researcher to voice their narratives; within a world where they are mostly inundated with (normative) discourses on what they are supposed to be experiencing. The ways in which their lives were influenced by parental divorce and subsequent remarriage were explored, and normative prescriptive discourses about divorce, remarriage and parentchild relationships deconstructed. This offered participants the opportunity to re-author their stories about their families and to explore the problem-saturated narratives that these four participants had with their biological, non-residential fathers - and the novel relations with their stepfathers. Sharing the narratives of these relationships led to significant discoveries about alternative postdivorce dynamics. The participants also initiated social action in their school by advocating for the cause of divorce and the plight of teenagers living with the reality of post-divorce dynamics.
- Faculty of Education