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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The lived experience of ethnic discrimination stress in the workplace among high-achieving Adivasis
by Dominic, Johny, Ph.D., Capella University, 2015, 229; 3685412
Abstract (Summary)

Ethnic discrimination stress (EDS) in the workplace among high-achieving Adivasis is a problem that has received little attention in research literature. This qualitative phenomenological study investigates the above problem by using Giorgi's descriptive psychological method. The method, selected due its scientific rigor, applies Husserlian concepts of phenomenological reduction, intentionality of consciousness, and imaginative variation, to identify and describe the psychological structure of the lived experience of EDS. The 15 participants in the study, selected on the basis of the scores of General Ethnic Discrimination Scale, were currently employed high-achieving male Adivasis above the age of 24. The saturation of the data was achieved with the analysis of 272 pages of interview transcripts of 10 participants. The study found that the participants had to face overt ethnic discrimination and microaggressions that were endemic and not just aberrant. The lived experience of EDS involved being constantly judged by negative stereotypes, and being exposed to marginalizing behaviors from the upper caste people. The participants believed that ethnic discrimination, in spite of their academic and career achievements, was meant to perpetuate upper caste hegemony. The resultant feelings of dehumanization, disillusionment, anger, combativeness, and helplessness from silencing led to demoralization. Coping with EDS involved an initial period of resentful submission with negative coping behaviors and a gradual movement toward change-oriented proactive responses. The findings point to a relationship between resilience and career achievement as well as to the need for both structural and paradigmatic changes in order to create a discrimination-free work environment. The findings reflect the tenets of critical race theory and call for paradigmatic changes in the caste mindset and the dominant discourse that is embedded with dehumanizing stereotypes of Adivasis that promote silencing and upper caste hegemony. The findings may be significant for mental health workers and educators to understand the inner world of discrimination and to find effective strategies for coping with EDS. By giving a scientific voice to the Adivasi struggle against discrimination, the study can support the efforts of the marginalized and the governments for the creation of a discrimination-free work environment.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Smith, Kenneth Scott
Commitee: Korn, Leslie, warren, Stephanie
School: Capella University
Department: Harold Abel School of Social and Behavioral Sciences
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-B 76/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Behavioral psychology, Counseling Psychology, Ethnic studies, South Asian Studies
Keywords: Adivasi, Ethnic discrimination stress, India, Internalized oppression, Phenomenological, Proactive coping
Publication Number: 3685412
ISBN: 978-1-321-61409-1
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