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A case study of pre-midlife crisis: an extraordinary transformational episode in an ordinary life

A case study of pre-midlife crisis: an extraordinary transformational episode in an ordinary life

Robinson, Oliver ORCID: 0000-0002-6758-2223 (2009) A case study of pre-midlife crisis: an extraordinary transformational episode in an ordinary life. In: Narrative & Memory Research Group 9th Annual Conference, 25 Apr 2009, Huddersfield, UK. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

This case study explored a single in-depth narrative of an episode of crisis. The participant, an English Jewish man in his late thirties (Guy), was selected using a ‘random purposeful’ design from a sample who had previously participated in a study on the experience of crisis in pre-midlife adulthood. From a subgroup of participants chosen for giving full accounts of both inner and outer dimensions of crisis, the individual was selected randomly. Data collection comprised two interviews followed by an email discussion.
The crisis occurred in Guy’s late thirties, just before the midlife transition, and so can be considered a ‘pre-midlife’ crisis. It subsumed the period surrounding leaving a high-profile banking career and a dysfunctional marriage, and the ensuing attempts to rebuild life after this difficult and emotional period.
Qualitative analysis found four trajectories of personal transformation over the course of the episode: Firstly there was a shift away from the use of a conventional persona to a more spontaneous and ‘authentic’ expression of self; secondly there was a move away from materialistic values toward relational values; thirdly a developing capacity to reflect on himself and his actions; fourthly an emerging feminine component of his personality. The case study portrays an extraordinary event in the life of an ordinary man approaching middle age. It illustrates the transformative nature of crisis in ordinary lives, the dramatic nature of narrative surrounding crisis, and also illustrates existing theory about the nature of adult crises.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: Narrative & Memory Research Group 9th Annual Conference on Narrative, Memory and Ordinary Lives, held 25 April 2009, at the University of Huddersfield.
Uncontrolled Keywords: pre-midlife crisis, identity, developmental crisis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Health & Social Care > Department of Psychology & Counselling
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Last Modified: 21 Oct 2020 08:30
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1633

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