TCRU-CNR Postgraduate Narrative Research Seminar
Thomas Coram Research Unit, UCL Institute of Education, and Centre for Narrative Research, University of East London
Gathering and analysing the life stories of identical twins
Mvikeli Ncube, University of East London
Tuesday 1st December 2015
5 – 6.30pm
The Library, Thomas Coram Research Unit, 27 – 28 Woburn Square, London WC1H 0AA
This paper will describe the background for this study of identical twins’ talk about their lives, by a brief address to psychological and cultural representations of twins. I will suggest that twins are
different in the way they speak about themselves, compared to what is shown in the contexts where twins are most represented, particularly the psychological literature and their representations in
cultural texts. Both representations reinforce conventional stereotypes about twins, thereby serving as ‘misrepresentations’ of twins. The paper will then move on to role of life stories in the process of conducting this study, and the themes, often emerging in narrative forms, that came out of the study, centred on couples, identities, and being misunderstood. The paper will conclude by showing how twins’ representations of themselves and their relationships work continuously to undermine dominant representations of ‘individual subjects’, both directly, by posing twins against ‘individuals’, and less directly, by articulating themes around ‘similarity’ and ‘the couple’. Finally the paper will explore how a narrative analysis could have been applied to the life stories I used in this study.
Mvikeli Ncube is a final year PhD student at the University of East London. He gained a BSc (Hons) in Psychology from Leeds Metropolitan University in 2011 before going on to do a PhD at Manchester Metropolitan University, later transferring to the University of East London. His doctoral thesis explores the accounts of the experiences of identical twins using social constructionist approaches. Mvikeli has published an article titled: ‘Cultural representations and narratives of identical twins’ in UEL Annual Year Book. He is currently working on two other papers for publication, ‘A critical review: The History of Psychological Research on Twins’ and ‘Romantic Couples as a Metaphor in Identical Twins’ Accounts of their Lives’.
For further details contact Corinne Squire (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Details are also on the CNR website http://www.uel.ac.uk/cnr/home.htm
CNR Research Seminar Series
The Impossible Choice?
Making decisions of care for and with older parents
Dr Bethany Morgan Brett
Thursday December 3rd
Time: 12.00 – 13.00
University of East London, Docklands Campus
East Building EB.1.40
Witnessing one parent’s ageing process and the associated dilemmas of placing a parent in care often cause ‘midlife children’ enormous emotional turmoil. Drawing upon data collected across four different qualitative and literature based research projects which I have worked on in recent years, the aim of this paper is to highlight the psychosocial dilemmas faced by midlife children of older parents, with the aim to improving inter-generational relationships. It will consider what practical, emotional and psychical effects does witnessing the increasing agedness and death of parents have on those in midlife? How are the relationships between the (midlife) child and their parents negotiated during this phase of the life course on a practical, emotional and psychical level? And how can care provision for older people be improved in order to support not only those in the older generations but also those in the midlife generation who are caring for them?
Dr Bethany Morgan Brett is a Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at the University of East London. She previously lectured in Social Psychology at The University of Essex and worked for nine years at the UK Data Archive. She completed her PhD in 2011 which was entitled Negotiating Midlife: A psychosocial exploration of the subjective experiences of ageing. Her academic interests include psychosocial studies, death and dying, ageing, the life course, and intergenerational care.