Qualitative Studies https://tidsskrift.dk/qual <p>QS is an interdisciplinary journal that focusses on qualitative methods and their application within the social sciences. We welcome experimental and unorthodox manuscripts pertaining to the thems of each issue of the journal.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> Aalborg Universitet en-US Qualitative Studies 1903-7031 <p><span style="color: black;">Copyright belongs to the author and&nbsp;</span><span style="color: black;"><em>Qualitative Studies</em></span></p> Suffering in Contemporary Society https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124406 Alfred Bordado Sköld Peter Clement Lund Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 1 10 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124406 ‘Forced adulthood’: An aspect of ‘quarterlife crisis’ suffered by young English and Assamese adults https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124407 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Quarterlife crisis’ describes difficulties experienced by young people in their transition to adulthood. Little is&nbsp;known about how this crisis manifests in different cultural contexts or the impact of educational background. Using photo-elicitation and timeline interviews, we explore the lived experience of ‘quarterlife crisis’ among 22-30 year olds from England (n=16) and Assam, India (n=8), each group including people with and people without a university-level education. Data were analysed with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. We report the key theme of ‘forced adulthood’, consisting of the traumatising experience of having to assume adult roles and responsibilities before one feels capable of so doing. We explore how cultural and educational factors shape this experience though: feeling rushed to financial self-sufficiency; having to train oneself to be an adult; and having to be the ‘man of the house’. In conclusion, we demonstrate that, even though there is some consistency around the traumatising effect of too early an assumption of adult responsibility, culture and educational background can change the contours of this experience and its meaning.</p> </div> </div> </div> Raginie Duara Siobhan Hugh-Jones Anna Madill Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 11 37 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124407 Mothering Death: A Psychosocial Interpretation of Breast Cancer Biography https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124454 <p><strong>I</strong>n this article I take as my point of departure a puzzle presented by a woman who had an apparently ‘bizarre’ reaction to a breast cancer diagnosis. In the clinic, she had exclaimed: “I would rather die than lose the breast!”. My aim is to unpack layers in this woman’s embodied and enculturated experience, with a view towards developing a psychosocial interpretation of breast cancer biography. The single case on which the present study is based, was extracted from a larger longitudinal data set which allowed me to follow ‘Ella’s’ transition from diagnosis to survivorship. I relied on five sources of data to unfold the case: two participant-generated texts (expressive writing and a Breast Biography), two interviews, and my own field notes. The two texts that Ella wrote provided a participant-led frame for depth-hermeneutic group interpretation sessions, the first of which, synergistically, produced a scenic voicing of latent content in the sub-text of Ella’s expressive writing: the fantasy of mothering death. This subsequently became a lead for my further interpretation of the case, and for methodological reflections on the value of shared thinking in qualitative data interpretation. Crucially, and with some bearing on the current healthcare context, this interpretive study sheds light on what goes on beneath the surface of an apparently ‘irrational’ and ‘recalcitrant’ patient, evidenced by Ella’s entry into what I call a ‘vortex of suffering’. Findings point towards her suffering as an expression of a <em>psychosocial reality</em>, against the backdrop of hope and ideals contained within a <em>psychosocial imaginary</em> that revolves around biomedical cure and reparation.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><em>Keywords</em>: breast cancer biography; the breast; psychosocial studies; depth-hermeneutics; vortex of suffering; psychosocial reality</p> Birgitta Haga Gripsrud Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 38 67 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124454 Suffering in the Sociology of Zygmunt Bauman https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124417 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The topic of human suffering loomed large throughout the writings of Zygmunt Bauman. If anything, his work&nbsp;can be characterized as a ‘sociology of suffering’. From the early writings until his very last, suffering constituted a key concern in Bauman’s description of the transformation of society from a solid-modern to a liquid-modern outlook. In his work, there are certain shifts in who and what he regards as the embodiments or expressions of suffering, and there is thus a keen eye on the changing landscape of suffering, its causes and consequences, from past to present. But there is nevertheless always a continuous and vehement defence for those living at the outskirts or at the bottom of society. The article will also explore what Bauman suggest should be done about the presence of suffering, and the article will briefly discuss the viability of his ideas on a morality of proximity as a way to alleviate suffering.</p> </div> </div> </div> Michael Hviid Jacobsen Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 68 90 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124417 Narratives of Loss: Exploring Grief through Photography https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124433 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>Grief is not an exclusively private and intrapsychic phenomenon but a dynamic process whereby the bereaved negotiates&nbsp;the meaning of the loss in a way that may challenge his/her personal self-narrative. Drawing on a social constructionist model of grief, this paper features a case study where we analyse narratives of mourning elicited through a personal photographic project. The visual-based narrative methodology used in our study (photo-production) not only allows for multi-modal forms of expression and communication in the study of grief, but it also serves as an aid for individuals to scaffold further meaning-making processes which cannot be conveyed through narrative alone. The paper concludes with an invitation to reflect on the use of photography as both a possible methodological tool to explore narratives of grief and a therapeutic tool for the construction of meanings and continuing bonds with the deceased.</p> </div> </div> </div> Belén Jiménez-Alonso Ignacio Brescó de Luna Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 91 115 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124433 Necessary Suffering? - Investigating Existential Suffering in Youth through Everyday Experiences of Bad Conscience https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124448 <div class="page" title="Page 1"> <div class="layoutArea"> <div class="column"> <p>The purpose of this article is to develop an account of existential suffering in youth. According to recent studies,&nbsp;a growing amount of young Westerners has come to suffer from mental disorders, stress, and a general lack of well-being. It is suggested however that the massive concern for young people's mental health might risk contributing to an increased pathologization of all kinds of suffering in youth. In continuation hereof the article aims at disclosing a suffering that is not pathological in kind but quite the contrary clings to existence. Based on interviews with three Danish high school students, regarding their experiences of bad conscience in their everyday lives, it is revealed how they suffer from matters conceivable as normative implications of fundamental conditions of existence such as freedom, finitude and the Other. In the end, critical concerns are raised regarding the normative evaluation of existential suffering as a necessity. That is, should we not always be against suffering?</p> </div> </div> </div> Joachim Meier Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 116 141 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124448 A Virtue Ethical Approach to Interpretation of the Suffering Other https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124455 <p><strong>I</strong>n this article my aim is to take up a thread from an article by Svend Brinkmann, wherein he is anxious to show that mental suffering cannot exclusively be explained within the narrow vocabulary of medical diagnosis systems, but can, an should be, be articulated through a large range of ‘interpretive vocabularies’ (Brinkmann 2014). In line with Brinkmann’s emphasis on the large range of possible interpretive vocabularies, I will engage the moral philosopher Iris Murdoch to show how the exploration of different possible interpretations of a particular client’s situation is in fact an <em>ethical </em>task, which requires the practitioner’s personal development of virtue in terms of selfless, loving attention as the precondition for a realistic interpretation of the client’s situation.</p> Anne Eggert Stevns Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 142 157 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124455 Negotiating languages of suffering in northern Uganda https://tidsskrift.dk/qual/article/view/124456 <p><strong>D</strong>rawing on ethnographic fieldwork in northern Uganda, I argue that psychiatric notions of suffering brought into the region by humanitarian intervention programs interact with local concepts of suffering (based in spirit-idioms) in two ways: In some cases, the diagnostic notion of PTSD and its vernacular counterpart “trauma” psychologize the local cosmology, transforming local spirit concepts from social or moral categories, to psychological ones. In other cases, psychiatric discourses hinged around “trauma” become spiritualized or enchanted, where the concept of trauma becomes usurped by and part of local cosmology. In an attempt to understand these processes, I suggest understanding concepts of suffering through their use in social practice and based on pragmatist epistemology. If viewed as a pragmatist concepts, I argue, it becomes possible to understand the social life of concepts of suffering (such as “trauma”) when they become globalized and negotiated in new contexts and social practices.</p> Lars Hedegaard Williams Copyright (c) 0 2021-01-21 2021-01-21 6 1 142 157 10.7146/qs.v6i1.124456