Psychology Research Seminar on January 29th
Posted by Simone Apel
Submitted by Dr Helen Clegg
The next psychology research seminar will be on Wednesday 29th January 2014 at 3.30pm in F43, Fawsley, Park Campus. Refreshments will be available from 3.15pm. The speaker will be Rose Capdevila from The Open University, who will be presenting a paper entitled “Mother knows best: Negotiating agency and ‘choice’ around childhood immunisation”.
One of the major shifts in the form and experience of contemporary family life has been the increasing insertion of the ‘expert’ voice into the relationship between parents and children. This paper focuses on an exploration of mothers’ engagement with advice around the combined measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Much of the previous literature utilises a ‘decision-making’ framework, based on ‘risk assessment’ whereby mothers’ decisions are conceptualised as rooted in complex belief systems, and supposes that that by gaining an understanding of these systems, beliefs and behaviour can be modified and uptake improved. However, less attention has been paid to the ways in which mothers negotiate such advice or the ways in which advice is mediated by positionings, practices and relationships. Analysis of data from a focus group with five mothers identified three themes: 1) Sourcing advice and information, 2) Constructing ‘Mother knows best’ and 3) Negotiating agency. Despite the trustworthiness of advice and information being questioned, an awareness of concerns about the MMR, and health professionals being constructed as remote, ultimate conformity to, and compliance with, the ‘system’ and ‘society’ were described as determining MMR ‘decisions’.
Rose Capdevila is a senior lecturer at the Open University, UK. Her research focuses on the construction of political and gender identities and the applications and implications of qualitative methodologies. Her publications include the co-edited volume Handbook of International Feminisms: Perspectives on Psychology, Women, Culture, and Rights (2011) which won the Association of Women in Psychology’s Distinguished Publication Award. She is co-editor of the journal Feminism & Psychology and has served as an editorial consultant for the British Journal of Social Psychology. She has been committee member for the Psychology of Women Section and served as Council Representative of the BPS as well as co-chairing the APA Division 35 Task force on Feminist and Political Psychology.