Profesional Development Workshop

Day 1: Tuesday, 13 September


Using a mixed methods discourse analysis to expose the myth of the hysterical female'

Session convener: Sally King, Kings College London

Format- Powerpoint presentation plus Q&A Purpose- To showcase the value of mixed methods and CRDA in health research- using a case study example Content- CRDA is a relatively novel methodology. It allowed me to meaningfully integrate and compare qualitative expert and patient accounts of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome) with robust quantitative epidemiological data regarding the type, relative prevalence and severity of symptoms in the general menstruating population. The rationale being that if not based on the available data, expert and lay descriptions of PMS must be influenced by other (unscientific) factors. The participant descriptions consistently reproduced three gender myths, which perpetuate the 17th Century concept of female ‘hysteria’. Interestingly, the patient accounts were more empirically robust than those of the experts. The CRDA methodology revealed that the reproduction of gender myths appeared to be wholly unintentional and principally mediated by several discursive mechanisms, and embodied, material, or institutional factors. It is hoped that by mitigating these identified factors, it might be possible to more accurately define and explain cyclical experiences - as well as finally debunk the myth of the hysterical female.