Title page for ETD etd-07282003-105932


Document Type Doctoral Thesis
Author Patel, Nadia
Email rafici@saleys.co.za
URN etd-07282003-105932
Document Title The South African Indian Muslim family : personal narratives
Degree MA (Clinical Psychology)
Department Psychology
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Ms A Pauw Committee Chair
Keywords
  • narrative
  • social constructionism
  • epistemology
  • Muslim
  • Indian
  • South African
  • culture
  • family therapy
Date 2002-12-09
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
This study can be seen as an exploration of the contributions (or lack thereof) made from various schools of family therapy with regards to culture, and, as an augmentation to the current literature, through articulating a South African Indian Muslim family narrative.

It commences with a review of the academic literature, comprising of the studies and general approaches taken towards the subject matter of culture and family therapy within this field. The study thereafter offers a description of the epistemological framework from which the author is operating which can be seen as a combination of second-order cybernetics and social constructionism. This serves to familiarize readers with the frame of reference that has guided the approach to this study as it impacts significantly on the manner in which research is conducted. A detailed discussion of the research approach adopted in this study thus ensues. The research approach assumes a postmodern flavour and can be regarded as alternate paradigm research.

The study also engages in an examination of the various discourses or schools of thought that have provided the predominant epistemological orientations within the field of family therapy. These are the systemic, first and second order cybernetics, constructivist, social constructionist and narrative approaches. The core characteristics of these discourses are critically described and their associated ramifications for culture are explored.

Finally, the study attempts to articulate a South African Indian Muslim family narrative. In doing so, it draws on a number of combined resources. The primary source of data is in the form of personal narratives that are extracted from the author's own experiences and observations of being a member of this specific cultural group. This data is supplemented with community narratives regarding the family. These narratives are extrapolated through participant observation in a community setting. The main themes that emerge from both sources are then utilized as areas of discussion. At the same time, these narratives reflect specific cultural and religious discourses as the latter is threaded into the fabric of the former. The main areas of discussion involve family structure, cohesion, role allocation, communication, hierarchy and life cycle. Those academic narratives which are considered to be applicable and relevant are applied to the data where necessary, thereby highlighting features of significance and illuminating points of convergence and contrast. The author also attempts to explore the systems of meaning that may inform the patterns in the family.

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