Title page for ETD etd-09092010-152249

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Thompson, David Peter
URN etd-09092010-152249
Document Title The experiences contributing to young adults' consideration of emigration
Degree Master of Arts
Department Psychology
Advisor Name Title
Prof M Visser Supervisor
  • perceptions
  • experienced meaning
  • experience
  • emigration
  • description
  • bracketing
  • brain drain
  • phenomenon
  • phenomenological approach
Date 2010-04-22
Availability unrestricted

It is a topic of discussion that finds its way into almost every setting in the South African context. Is leaving South Africa not the best option available to us? From old to young it seems many South Africans, are contemplating leaving the shores of South Africa in search of opportunity elsewhere. The purported reasons behind this exodus, or even just the thought going into the possibilities, are repetitive in the literature. Crime, affirmative action, standards of living, concerns regarding political and economic security for the future are all referred to. What is undeniable is the great loss of skills that is occurring as most of these people leaving are graduates. I wished to try and understand the experiences of some young adults who are currently contemplating, or in the process of emigrating.

The focal question in this research is: “what experiences are fuelling the ‘brain drain phenomenon amongst our young adults?” The intention of this study is not in any way to find extrapolative answers, but instead to understand and describe the personal experiences of a select few. Therefore a Phenomenological approach was used in order to describe these participants’ experiences as closely as possible. The respondents were asked to write a ‘full’ response to the open ended question. This technique of data capture falls within the semi-structured interview framework, but allowed for the participants to provide a description of their experiences with the least possible opportunity for influence. It was of great importance that their descriptions be their own in order for the researcher to gain a proper understanding of their experiences. These descriptions were then analysed through thematic analysis. The themes that were identified seem to describe the ‘experienced meaning’ that the participants have formed rather than the physical experiences of such ‘reasons’ as discussed in the literature. Themes such as victimization, regret, insecurity, crime, fear, the need for freedom and job security were identified. For South Africa to turn this brain drain around it will be necessary for policy makers to take into consideration and act upon the physical experiences but also the experienced meaning that people form.

Copyright © 2009, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Thompson, DP 2009, The experiences contributing to young adults' consideration of emigration, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-09092010-152249/ >


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