Title page for ETD etd-09022005-141949

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Brokensha, Melissa
Email mbrokensha@associate.co.za
URN etd-09022005-141949
Document Title The South African exodus : a social constructionist perspective on emigration
Degree MA (Counselling Psychology)
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Mr L H Human
  • qualitative research
  • discourse exploration
  • stories
  • alternative narratives
  • self-narratives
  • deconstruction
  • discourse analysis
  • psychologists
  • discourses
  • postmodernism
  • social constructionism
  • emigration
Date 2003-10-09
Availability unrestricted
This study can be described and summarised by making use of the construct of emigration. Firstly, it focuses on the discourses circulating in South Africa that inform peopleís decision to emigrate. It consists of two narratives, written by the participants, concerning their experience around emigration and how they have constructed meaning from it. By qualitatively exploring these narratives an attempt was made to understand and illuminate the discourses informing their decision to emigrate. Secondly, it incorporates my self-narrative as a thread running through the study, using the metaphor of emigration.

This journey starts with an introduction to the social constructionist approach that informs the position from which this study is written. In this part of the journey basic ideas from this approach are discussed and linked to the participantsí texts. I also introduce my self-narrative and my personal experience with social constructionism.

From this, a research narrative is introduced according to which the co-researcherís texts will be explored. Discourse analysis is then used to explore and deconstruct the various themes that are highlighted in the texts. I have used grounded theory to guide me through this process.

Existing literature and narratives on emigration have also been included and explored in this study to point out any similarities and differences in the presenting discourses.

Further more, this journey is constructed to illustrate the discourses around emigration that individuals might bring forth in conversation with psychologists. It is the intention of this study to make psychologists aware of personal emigration narratives and to discourage psychologists from entering into conversations with assumptions as to what informs their clientís decision to emigrate.

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