Psychology research seminar on step-mothering

The next Psychology Research Seminar will be on Wednesday 26th November 2014 at 3.30pm in F43. Refreshments will be available from 3.15pm.

Sandra Roper, a PhD student from The Open University will be presenting her work on step-mothering, Talking to my sister: Reflections on some challenges and opportunities for feminist research.


As part of my doctoral research on stepmothering I have been interviewing women with adult stepchildren. My participants have included some close friends as well as my sister. Conducting and subsequently analysing these interviews with participants I know very well has raised both ethical and practical challenges. In addition my shifting status from insider to outsider and from sister to researcher during the process created tension and discomfort.  This paper considers some of these challenges and tensions and offers tentative suggestions for managing some of these issues.  Moreover, I suggest that these have been productive in prompting reflexive consideration of some key concerns for feminist research; the role and impact of the researcher in the research process and questions around power imbalances in research.


Sandra Roper completed a Psychology undergraduate degree at Northampton in 2007. She started her part-time PhD at the Open University in 2009; the work is a narrative/discursive exploration of step-mothering and identity. Sandra expects to submit next year.

About Simone Apel

Researcher Developer for The Graduate School, University of Northampton.

Posted on November 13, 2014, in Events, School of Social Sciences and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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