Women on farms : discourses of distress

Lochner, Christine (1999)

On the Degree of Master of Arts (Clinical Psychology)

Thesis (MA) -- University of Stellenbosch, 1999.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The primary goal of this cross-cultural study was to determine how low income female farm workers in the Winelands region of the Western Cape (South Africa) talk about and express their psychological distress. The language these women used to articulate their psychological distress (verbal and nonverbal communications) were analyzed to determine whether it is possible to identify certain 'discourses of distress'. Data was generated by interviews (consisting of semi-structured and open-ended questions, and implementation of - amongst others - the Beck Depression Inventory) with six participants. With grounded theory, a specific way of doing qualitative analysis of interviews and questionnaire data, an attempt was made to capture the idioms of distress used in this culture. It was possible to identify six 'discourses of distress', namely, i.) silence, ii.) reporting and describing behaviour, iii.) 'body talk' I somatization, iv.) narrativation, v.) metaphorical and idiomatic speech, and vi.) psychologization. The possible ways in which these discourses function were discussed (with the existing literature as background) in order to come to an understanding about what the choice of discourse communicates about the experience of psychological distress. Drawing on this theory building attempt, directions for the development of accurate theory on female farm workers' ways of expressing psychological distress, the possible implications thereof, and suggestions for appropriate assessment and provision of mental health care to them, were explored.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die primere doel van hierdie kruiskulturele ondersoek was om die wyse(-s) vas te stel waarop lae inkomste vroulike plaaswerkers van die Wynlandstreek van die Wes-Kaap (Suid-Afrika) hulle sielkundige distres uitdruk en daaroor praat. Die 'taal' wat deur hierdie vroue gebruik is (verbaal en nie-verbaal) om hulle sielkundige distres uit te druk, is ontleed om vas te stel of sekere 'diskoerse van distres' ge"identifiseer kon word. Data is gegenereer deur oop onderhoude (bestaande uit semi-gestruktureerde en oop-einde vrae) en die implementering van die Afrikaanse weergawe van die Beck Depression Inventory. Met grand- ('grounded') teorie, 'n spesifieke manier om kwalitatiewe analise van onderhoude en vraelys-inligting te doen, is gepoog om die sogenaamde 'idiome van distres' wat in hierdie kultuur gebruik word, vas te stel. Dit was moontlik om ses diskoerse om sielkundige distres uit te druk, te identifiseer, naamlik i.) stilte (onvermoe I weiering om te antwoord); ii.) rapportering en beskrywing van gedrag en simptome; iii.) 'liggaamstaal' I somatisering; iv.) narrativasie I storievertelling; v.) metafore I idiome en vi.) sie/kundige spraak. Die moontlike wyses waarop hierdie diskoerse werk, is bespreek (met die bestaande literatuur as agtergrond), om sodoende tot 'n beter begrip te kom van wat die spesifieke keuse van diskoers oar die ervaring van sielkundige distres kommunikeer. Op die basis van hierdie teoriebou-poging, is rigtings vir die ontwikkeling van akkurate teorie oar die maniere waarop vroulike plaaswerkers distres ervaar en oordra, die moontlike implikasies daarvan, en voorstelle vir gepaste assessering en die verskaffing van geestesgesondheidsdiens aan hulle, geeksploreer.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/51552
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