n Health SA Gesondheid - The analysis of a dominant gender discourse - part 2 : research

Volume 7, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1025-9848
  • E-ISSN: 2071-9736



Gender dilemmas are formed where a woman's role and identity is constructed in alternative ways, ways which do not cohere with the ways prescribed and expected within a dominant gender discourse. Gender dilemmas give birth to internal discomfort and a loss of experiencing the self as meaningful. Gender dilemmas disempower and silence women. The following questions are addressed : Which processes and powers construct women in certain ways? How are the roles and identities of women formed during these processes? An analysis of a dominant gender discourse within the South African cultural context is discussed to increase the understanding of the constructed nature of the gender identity of women and to increase the understanding of gender dilemmas that silence and disempower women. A qualitative reflexive research design was chosen where a discourse analysis is performed (Terre Blanche & Durrheim, 1999 : 148 ; Mouton, 1996 : 102 ; Rommetveit, 1990 : 90). Texts for the analysis came from transcriptions of ten in-depth, semi-structured individual interviews with nominated women. The analysis was done by combining the ideas on discourse analysis of Parker (1992 : 6-20) and Terre Blanche and Durrheim (1999 : 154-167). The analysis aims at increasing the understanding of the constructed nature of femininity and to generate further ways to understand gender dilemmas. This process opens up space for alternative reflections that could lead to change.

Gender-dilemmas word gevorm waar 'n vrou se rol en identiteit gekonstrueer is op alternatiewe wyses wat nie ooreenstem met tradisionele konstruksies binne 'n dominante gender-diskoers nie. Gender-dilemmas gee oorsprong aan interne ongemak en 'n verlies aan selfsinvolheid. Vroue word daardeur verstil en ontmagtig. Die volgende vrae word aangespreek : Deur watter prosesse en kragte word die vrou gekonstrueer? Hoe word die rol en identiteit van die vrou gevorm deur hierdie prosesse? 'n Analise van 'n dominante gender diskoers binne die Suid-Afrikaanse kulturele konteks word bespreek om begrip vir die gekonstrueerde aard van die gender identiteit van vroue te genereer en om begrip te bevorder vir gender-dilemmas waardeur vroue verstil en ontmagtig word. 'n Kwalitatiewe reflektiewe navorsingsontwerp is gekies waartydens 'n diskoers- analise uitgevoer is. (Terre Blanche & Durrheim, 1999 : 148 ; Mouton, 1996 : 102 ; Rommetveit, 1990 : 90). Tekste vir die analise is bekom uit die transkripsies van tien indiepte, semi-gestruktureerde individuele onderhoude met genomineerde vroue. Die analise is gedoen op grond van die diskoers-analise van Parker (1992 : 6-20) en Terre Blanche en Durrheim (1999 : 154-167). Die analise poog om begrip vir die gekonstrueerde aard van vroulikheid en om verdere verstaansmoontlikhede vir gender-dilemmas te genereer. Die potensiaal vir moontlike verandering ontstaan hierin.

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