Exploring the Self Definition and Individuality of Black Professional Women

Ade-Serrano, Y. (2010). Exploring the Self Definition and Individuality of Black Professional Women. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)

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Abstract

What is it like when we know who we are and can make sense of ourselves? This research explores black professional women's attempts to define themselves through their personal and working lives. What makes each of them an individual? The present study aims to investigate the foundation of each of the participants' sense of self and to understand how this has shaped their present view of themselves. The study reports on accounts from semi-structured interviews with ten female participants, which was analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). This research examines how the meaning-making processes of these women impact on their self definition. Four master themes are presented: self definition - defining me, the self and others, influences on the self, and "my individuality".
The master themes highlight the participants' struggles to self define and maintain their individuality. The analysis suggests, both a competing sense of self, and the influence of past relations on present self definitions. It further indicates an imbalance between how internal and external discourses impact on individuality and self definition. The
research concludes by examining the analytic observations in light of phenomenological thinking.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: School of Social Sciences > Department of Psychology
URI: http://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/8736

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