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Karin Menon

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2010
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Sense of identity among Samoan migrant women at work and living in Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand

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Ms Menon researched how ‘being in paid work in New Zealand’ influenced the identity formation processes of twenty Samoan migrant women in Auckland. In her interpretative analysis, the following major domains involved in identity formation by way of ‘being at work’ crystallized: 1) changes in self-views through introspective processes, 2) transformed self-views through relationships with others, 3) self-processes linked to lived space over time. The Samoan women experienced ‘being in paid work’ as more than a source of sustaining their existence. In particular, ‘being skilled working women’ added to their sense of identity via opportunities to explore their latent skills and develop new competencies. Ms Menon concluded that for many women, migration and work can provide opportunities for personal development not always accessible in their country of origin.

Professor Stuart Carr
Professor Kerry Chamberlain
Dr Graeme McCrae

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