Exploring the Emotional Experience of Same-sex Parents by Mixing Creatively Multiple Qualitative Methods

Alessandro Pratesi


Special Issues Submission: Equity
In this paper I address some of the main challenges and benefits of doing qualitative research with a specific type of 'informal caregivers', i.e. those who have been thus far excluded from the conceptual category of “normal” caregivers and from normal research on informal care: same-sex parents. The research presented in this paper is an example of a qualitative, inclusive approach to studying the felt and lived experience of 33 same-sex parents. It draws on a wider study on 80 informal caregivers, who were different in terms of gender, type of care, marital status, and sexual orientation. Its aim was to offer a more inclusive interpretation and a more reliable discourse on family care and parenthood. The research objective was to gain insights into the emotional mechanisms through which the dynamics of inclusion or exclusion are interactionally and situationally constructed and/or challenged while doing care. In this paper I illustrate the mix of creative, qualitative methods I employed to explore the experiences of a group of same-sex parents living in Philadelphia (USA).

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