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A Feminist Critique: Using Friendship Ethnography to Explore the Experiences of Menstruation in the South Asian diaspora

Takhi, Simran Sahiba Kaur (2018) A Feminist Critique: Using Friendship Ethnography to Explore the Experiences of Menstruation in the South Asian diaspora. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Whilst menstruation discourse is one that is saturated with taboo and has implications on women universally, research documenting the experiences of menstruation within South Asian women is lacking. This is peculiar, considering the taboos menstruating South Asian women have had to face on the basis of Indian culture and the negative impact of such taboo on the wellbeing of women. Research failing to acknowledge the culture and the manifestation of issues South Asian women face in relation to menstrual taboos, means that feminist principles are not represented and the scope for informing practical interventions for such women, narrows. 6 women of the diaspora, aged between 20 and 24 were studied to explore the construction of menstruation experience in relation to taboo. Through semi-structured interviewing, the transmission, manifestation and consequences of menstrual taboos were explored. Interpretive phenomenological analysis was utilised, generating themes of: the mother as central to menstruation experience, objectification of the female body and protection of men. The core findings of the mother’s powerful but negative attitudes and young South Asian men’s lack of menstruation awareness, shed light on possible research into interventions that provide South Asian men and women with appropriate menstrual knowledge.

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