The first part of the thesis analyses the conditions for the development of a critical
feminist psychology, while the second part exemplifies the practice of a critical
feminist psychology in relation to health—specifically breast cancer. The chapters in
Part One consider, in turn, the institutional context within which a critical feminist
psychology is necessarily located; the theories upon which it might draw; and the
methods which it might use, with a particular emphasis on focus group methodology.
The chapters in Part Two offer reviews of the feminist and psychosocial literature on
breast cancer; and analyses of a data set consisting of thirteen focus group discussions
in which women with breast cancer talk about their experiences. The analyses draw
upon critical and discursive approaches to examine, in particular, the women's talk
about "thinking positive", and about the "causes" of breast cancer.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy at Loughborough University.