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"It should not have happened": metaphorical expressions, idioms, and narrative descriptions related to trauma in an indigenous community in India


Rechsteiner, Karin; Tol, Varsha; Maercker, Andreas (2019). "It should not have happened": metaphorical expressions, idioms, and narrative descriptions related to trauma in an indigenous community in India. International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health & Well-Being, 14(1):1667134.

Abstract

Purpose: Psychological trauma can be viewed as a metaphor which originates from somatic medicine and comes from the Greek word "wound". To gain a better understanding of trauma in a culturally sensitive way, the present project aimed to explore alternative metaphors used to describe extreme aversive or catastrophic events. Methods: This ethnopsychological study was carried out among the Adivasis indigenous people in tribal communities in Pune, India. We performed 28 interviews with lay persons and key informants, focusing on collectively shared metaphors. The data were examined using systematic metaphor analysis. Results: While the most prevalent metaphorical concepts found related to shock and wound, we also identified culture-specific idioms and common themes in the descriptions related to trauma. The most predominant expression, which was used by all of the participants, was "this should not have happened" (asa nahi vhayala pahije hota). These findings indicate that metaphorical concepts reflect implicit worldviews and beliefs in the community under study. Conclusion: The main implication of the results found is to increase awareness of different expressions in clinical settings, pointing to potential approaches to the cultural adaptation of clinical interventions in general.

Abstract

Purpose: Psychological trauma can be viewed as a metaphor which originates from somatic medicine and comes from the Greek word "wound". To gain a better understanding of trauma in a culturally sensitive way, the present project aimed to explore alternative metaphors used to describe extreme aversive or catastrophic events. Methods: This ethnopsychological study was carried out among the Adivasis indigenous people in tribal communities in Pune, India. We performed 28 interviews with lay persons and key informants, focusing on collectively shared metaphors. The data were examined using systematic metaphor analysis. Results: While the most prevalent metaphorical concepts found related to shock and wound, we also identified culture-specific idioms and common themes in the descriptions related to trauma. The most predominant expression, which was used by all of the participants, was "this should not have happened" (asa nahi vhayala pahije hota). These findings indicate that metaphorical concepts reflect implicit worldviews and beliefs in the community under study. Conclusion: The main implication of the results found is to increase awareness of different expressions in clinical settings, pointing to potential approaches to the cultural adaptation of clinical interventions in general.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Health Sciences > Issues, Ethics and Legal Aspects
Health Sciences > Gerontology
Health Sciences > Fundamentals and Skills
Health Sciences > Health Policy
Language:English
Date:December 2019
Deposited On:18 Mar 2020 13:50
Last Modified:03 Sep 2020 08:29
Publisher:Co-Action Publishing
ISSN:1748-2623
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/17482631.2019.1667134
PubMed ID:31526241

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