2012 Volume 11 Issue 1 Pages 26-44
This study explores how siblings of people with disabilities live their lives. In-depth conversations were held on several occasions between two people who had siblings with disabilities and the first author of this article. In such conversations, the interviewer also narrated her experience as a sibling, since narratives are constructed through interactions between the speaker and the listener. The analysis focused on specific aspects that revealed information regarding their past and future lives, and the process of the in-depth conversation was also highlighted. The results showed that the interviewees had varied experiences as siblings of people with disabilities, but they typically had a "double life story," which represented their own and their siblings’ lives. Meanwhile, they differed in the extent to which they were willing to live independently, and they had ambivalent feelings toward independence. By considering the meanings of independence and interdependence, the siblings may be able to find an alternative lifestyle, which goes beyond the dichotomy between living independently and living with their families.