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An Exploration of the Experiences of Challenging Izzat Among Six South Asian Women

Chhina, R. (2017). An Exploration of the Experiences of Challenging Izzat Among Six South Asian Women. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Within the South Asian community, the cultural law and behavioural code of conduct followed in order to preserve the perceived family honour is known as Izzat. Much of the literature on Izzat has explored and documented the negative consequences of women challenging Izzat, particularly those who have experienced abuse. The existing literature, however, has rarely explored the act of challenging Izzat itself. This qualitative study used Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) to explore the experiences of six South Asian women who have challenged Izzat. Taking a phenomenological stance, it focused particularly on (a) the participants’ experiences of challenging Izzat and (b) how they made sense of and gave meaning to their experiences. Six one-to-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with women aged between 25 and 30 who identified themselves as British South Asian (Indian, Pakistani, or Bangladeshi). Three superordinate themes emerged from the data: ‘The Resistance’, ‘The Sense of Peril’ and ‘The Lasting Legacy’. The findings of this study have supported the existing literature and have provided a number of unique insights into the experiences of challenging Izzat. This study found the experience of challenging Izzat to be a complex process, whereby the participants’ encountered both distressing and positive experiences for their actions, and sought, as well as acquired, change and control within their hybrid British South Asian ‘life worlds’. It is hoped that the findings may aid practitioners in developing their understanding of the phenomenon of challenging Izzat and translate the insight gained into therapeutic practice. The implications of the research findings for clinical practice and recommendations for future research have also been discussed.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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