Name stories: experiences of names & naming in adoptive family life

Pilcher, J. ORCID: 0000-0002-1864-1362, 2023. Name stories: experiences of names & naming in adoptive family life. [Dataset] (Forthcoming)

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This is the dataset for a project about personal names and identities. It focuses on adoptees and adopters as people whose experiences of the multiple ‘identity’ and ‘belonging’ functions of forenames and surnames are especially likely to be significant and complex.

Research questions:
• Adult adoptees: How do names feature in adult adoptees’ understandings and constructions of their autobiographies of identities and belongings? Which characters, relationships, actions, locations, artefacts and events feature in adoptees’ stories of their identities, names and naming? How do they feel about decisions made in their past about their names, and names of their birth family? Have their understandings changed, and why?
• Adult adopters: What role do names have in adopters’ autobiographical experiences of adoption as a process requiring the creation and maintenance of family identities? How do names feature in adopters’ understandings of adoption as a process incorporating children’s birth heritage identities of family, and/or social class, race and ethnicity? What decisions have adopters made about their child/ren’s names and names of birth family members, and why? Have their understandings about names and identities in their practices of family- making and for the identities of their child/ren changed, and if so, why?

This dataset contains: anonymised creative writing booklets; anonymised interview transcripts; a blank consent form; participant information sheet. These were generated using life-story interviewing and creative life-writing methods to capture ‘name stories’ through which adults described and made sense of their adoption-related naming and identity experiences. The sample included up to 30 adults who were adopted as children and up to 30 adults who have adopted one or more children. The adoption experiences of participants took place in England and Wales.

Findings filled important knowledge gaps about the place of names in adoptive identities and in adoptive family life, thereby strengthening broader empirical, theoretical and everyday understandings of the significance of name-linked identities in contemporary societies.

The Name Stories in Adoption project ran from September 2022-September 2024 and was funded by The Leverhulme Trust (Award ref RPG-2021-301).

Item Type: Research datasets and databases
Creators: Pilcher, J.
Publisher: Nottingham Trent University
Place of Publication: Nottingham
Date: 13 November 2023
Rights: Anonymised creative writing booklets and anonymised interview transcripts from participants who consented to data sharing, along with other supporting information, are available from the NTU Data Archive to bona fide researchers. To arrange to access a copy of this research data set, contact the Library Research Support team:
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Laura Ward
Date Added: 13 Nov 2023 16:05
Last Modified: 13 Nov 2023 16:10
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