Fatherhood has become an area of research that has attracted a considerable amount of media attention and interest within the social sciences in the twentieth century. Historically, the evolution of the concept fatherhood has led to many discourses circulating within many cultural settings. Until now, there has been a voluminous diverse body of work regarding the construction of fatherhood. Research has mainly focused on the effects fathers have on childhood development; fatherhood and masculinity; the cultural representation of fatherhood; and father involvement to name a few. However there is a significant lack of research pertaining to the subjective experiences of fathers who have encountered the world of illness from a South African context. At the same time, there is little body of knowledge relating to fatherhood and disability. This study aims to explore the subjective experiences of the fathers’ worlds so as to answer the question, “How do fathers make sense of limb loss due to diabetes, through narrative?” This is to aid in the understanding of the significance of fathers and their relationship with illness. In order to attain this, a qualitative approach to research was applied where the participants were recruited through the application of snowball sampling. Given the narrative framework, the narratives of the participants serve as the source of information. This is reflected in the research techniques administered. Semi-structured interviews were utilised as a means of data collection. The analysis was conducted using the transcriptions from the interview material allowing the text to illustrate how culture and history affect the manner in which experiences are narrated. Highlighted within this study is how the application of a qualitative approach within the ranks of narrative psychology provided a useful exploration into the subjective experiences of fathers who have lost a limb due to diabetes. The results were set out giving a useful indication of how culture and history shapes experiences and what meanings are constructed thereof. From a cultural stance three cultures were investigated thus allowing access into unknown domains. However further research needs to be explored so as to enrich the fatherhood topic from a South African context, thus offering multiple realities of the construction of fatherhood.
Dissertation (MA (Counselling Psychology))--University of Pretoria, 2007.