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Sociology: Research


Paper Details

Author: Carrie Purcell

Title: Doing Massage: body work through a narrative lens

Year: 2009

ISBN: 1-900522-53-5

Massage as an activity and as a form of body work has multiple associations, including with health, relaxation, sex, beauty and pampering. Thus, what massage is, is open to interpretation. The massage workers in this study talked about and defined massage in multiple ways, situating themselves in relation to these ideas via their stories. This paper focuses on two of the themes which emerged, namely ‘touch’ and ‘(in)appropriateness’. The research used an approach influenced by narrative, and while the focus of this paper comes largely from a thematic analysis of the interview data, other factors such as structure and context are crucial. The paper concludes with reflection on the methodological position of ‘narrative inquiry’, flagging the advantages this approach offered the research.