Understanding the voices and personalities of single women

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

'A dominant over-arching discourse appears to be that it is generally good to get married (to a member of the opposite sex), whether one is male or female. In addition to this though, being male and unmarried is seen as unproblematic, and indeed an enjoyable state of being...' (Baker, 2006). This paper is a preliminary exploration on the voices of professional working women in the Malaysian society with regard to their status of being 'unmarried'. We adopt a discourse analytical approach in this preliminary investigation through their encoded responses, linguistic choice of words and interpretation of meanings beyond their sentence level. We conducted semi structured interviews with two respondents of similar cultural background and conducted an initial content analysis of their interview responses. The focus of analysis centers on what they say and how they say it that draws attention to individual's feelings that could contribute to an understanding of the outer layer of singlehood phenomenon. The findings reflect the social, emotional and personality constructs of singlehood between these two Malaysian women. We highlight the voices of two single women in Malaysia as our preliminary findings to raise an awareness of these constructs that derive from the personal voices of single women against the community's stereotyping of this group within members of the Malaysian community. We then conclude by relating the findings to the theories of causes and patterns of change and the theory of idea of personality traits.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Social Sciences
Volume8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

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personality
working woman
discourse
interview
personality traits
community
Malaysia
content analysis
linguistics
interpretation
cause
Group
Society

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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title = "Understanding the voices and personalities of single women",
abstract = "'A dominant over-arching discourse appears to be that it is generally good to get married (to a member of the opposite sex), whether one is male or female. In addition to this though, being male and unmarried is seen as unproblematic, and indeed an enjoyable state of being...' (Baker, 2006). This paper is a preliminary exploration on the voices of professional working women in the Malaysian society with regard to their status of being 'unmarried'. We adopt a discourse analytical approach in this preliminary investigation through their encoded responses, linguistic choice of words and interpretation of meanings beyond their sentence level. We conducted semi structured interviews with two respondents of similar cultural background and conducted an initial content analysis of their interview responses. The focus of analysis centers on what they say and how they say it that draws attention to individual's feelings that could contribute to an understanding of the outer layer of singlehood phenomenon. The findings reflect the social, emotional and personality constructs of singlehood between these two Malaysian women. We highlight the voices of two single women in Malaysia as our preliminary findings to raise an awareness of these constructs that derive from the personal voices of single women against the community's stereotyping of this group within members of the Malaysian community. We then conclude by relating the findings to the theories of causes and patterns of change and the theory of idea of personality traits.",
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