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Title: The impact of involuntary dislocation on Bulgarian Turkish couples : a psychosocial approach from a psychoanalytic perspective
Author: Senturk, Gulenbaht
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 0927
Awarding Body: University of Essex
Current Institution: University of Essex
Date of Award: 2017
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The proposed study investigates the subjective experience and meaning of Involuntary Dislocation (ID) and its impact on couple relationships. This research is innovative in so far as (a) it investigates families and couples relationships and not individuals, (b) it examines the ID phenomena from a unique combination of perspectives that includes psychoanalytic as well as wider psychosocial dimensions, (c) it focuses not only on the negative effects of ID but also includes Retained Strengths (Resilience) as well as acquired new strengths (Adversity-Activated Development (AAD)), (d) it examines an unusual and unique example and specimen of ID, i.e. the Bulgarian Turks who were moved from one type of home (Bulgaria, the land of their ancestors) to another type of home (Turkey, the land of their cultural, religious, linguistic and ethnic origins). The theoretical framework of this research is informed by a unique combination of psychoanalytic theory and practice, psychosocial perspectives and Papadopoulos' Adversity Grid. Overall, the study explores (a) what actual negative effects did Involuntary Dislocation have on the research participants and their relationship as a couple, and what conditions contributed to the development of these effects, (b) what actual positive effects did Involuntary Dislocation have on the research participants and their couple relationship, and what conditions contributed to the development of these effects, and finally, (c) what positive strengths, behaviours, characteristics, relationships' qualities that existed before the onset of Involuntary Dislocation have been retained, despite the research participants' exposure to the adversity of ID. To explore these complex and intertwined effects, five couples were recruited from among the members of the Balkan Turks Association in Turkey. The research participants were chosen from among those who had been forced to leave Bulgaria in 1989, after the pervasive assimilation campaign. These couples were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire based on the researcher’s expertise in the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI). The interviews were analyzed using the method of qualitative thematic analysis that uniquely combines the above-mentioned three perspectives. The concluding discussion provides an in - depth analysis of the specific patterns and mechanisms that couples employ to experience and process adversity as a consequence of Involuntary Dislocation. Involuntary dislocation and couple relationships constitute both a highly complex and multi-layered phenomenon. Results indicated that the Retained Strengths of the couples helped to overcome some of the negative effects derived from ID. These strengths included being hardworking, maintaining a stance of patience, and holding onto community values such as religious affiliation, solidarity, protection of those in need, honesty, and cultivating positive social networks. However , emotional difficulties were only partly compensated for by adversity activated developments such as improved self confidence, pride, gaining freedom and peace, accessing better jobs, being exposed to broader culture and feeling s of hope. Overall, these helped the couples succeed in being functional and balancing their expectations and aspirations for the future. By perceiving the outside world as dangerous, they keep the couple relationship as a shelter and avoid conflicts by not sharing negative feelings. This works unfortunately against the development of internal space, limiting the capacity of the couple for psychological containment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: RC0500 Psychoanalysis