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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Disownment of Indo-Canadian women Jheeta, Swinder Kaur


This study explores the psychological and social aspects of the experience of being disowned. Disownment can arise at two levels. At the intrapersonal level disownment is characterized by: the repression of emotions, needs, and aspects of one's personality. At the interpersonal level, disownment involves the complete break in social, emotional, economic, familial support and community relations. This paper examines the relationship between the two. Ten Indo-Canadian women who had experienced an aspect of disownment were interviewed. Results revealed that a variety of factors can precipitate this stressful event. How these women cope with the experience was determined by factors which either facilitated or hindered the adjustment process. From the analysis of the data, disownment not only resulted as a consequence of a life transition but it also emerged as a transitional process. The disownment model is presented to provide a framework for understanding this underlying process. The three stage model of disownment describes the: 1) anticipation of shift, 2) adjustment and 3) re-integration. Implications of the model for counseling and research are also discussed.

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