Long-Term Experiences of Men with Spinal Cord Injuries in Japan: A Qualitative Study


  • Masakuni Tagaki Osaka Prefecture University




spinal cord injury, life course, narrative, Japan, KJ method, narrative analysis, interviews


The goal of the current study was to examine how Japanese men with long-term spinal cord injuries constructed their post-injury life. To do this, I conducted semi-structured interviews with ten participants who had sustained spinal cord injuries. The interview data was transcribed and analyzed qualitatively using the KJ method, which is widely employed in Japan and has been developed by and named after the founder of the method, the anthropologist Jiro KAWAKITA (1967). The participants led lives similar to able-bodied individuals and tried to find specific positive aspects of their lives that they owed to their disabilities. They also developed collective identities as people with acquired disabilities through their relationships with others having disabilities. To alleviate their sense of loss, the participants also emphasized the unchanged aspects of their pre-injury lives. They understood that their lives were greatly influenced by a socially supportive environment that was regarded as being contingent. They recognized their inability to control the environment and valued the contingencies.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs150210


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Author Biography

Masakuni Tagaki, Osaka Prefecture University

Masakuni TAGAKI is currently an associate professor at the Department of Social Welfare at Osaka Prefecture University, Japan. His research interest is in psycho-social issues of persons with acquired physical disabilities and in qualitative inquiry of their life stories. In addition, he currently engages in a research project based on a residents' consensus meeting on municipal disability policy in an urban area in Japan.




How to Cite

Tagaki, M. (2015). Long-Term Experiences of Men with Spinal Cord Injuries in Japan: A Qualitative Study. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(2). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-16.2.2148