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A Gay Woman’s Experiences During Her Career In The Department Of Defence Part: 1 – Fleet Of Hope

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Author(s): Benedictor Leah Tlou | Willem Schurink

Journal: South African Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN 1683-7584

Volume: 1;
Issue: 3;
Date: 2003;
Original page

Keywords: Gay Woman’s Experiences | Career In The Department Of Defence

ABSTRACT
A opportunity presented itself to undertake an explorative qualitative study of the perceptions and experiences of an authentic lesbian who was for some time an employee of the South African Department of Defence (DOD). In order to capture, describe and reach an understanding of this woman’s experiences and worldviews, we employed a qualitative methodology, i.e. with her assistance an autobiographical sketch was constructed, and utilizing a variant of analytic induction (AI) and symbolic interactionism, we analysed and interpreted the material. According to qualitative requirements we provide in this article an account of the major steps taken during the execution of the case study. Following the Lowney-Winslows AI approach (1981), we are convinced that our study provided one real case, which enhanced our intuitive understanding of lesbians working in the South African Defence Force. It namely served as a starting point for further research that could carry our case study on to a more formal implementation of AI, and particularly the execution of steps five through to seven. We feel convinced that the study was ethically properly and scientifically correctly executed and that it enabled us to obtain valuable and rich information on lesbianism and the South African military. For the benefit of the reader we present Thando’s entire narrative. Opsomming’n Unieke geleentheid het hom voorgedoen om ’n ekploratiewe kwalitatiewe studie van die persepsies en ervarings van ’n outentieke lesbiër wat vir ’n tyd lank werksaam was by die Suid-Afrikaanse Departement van Verdediging, te onderneem. Ten einde die vrou se ondervindings en wêreldbeskouings vas te vang, te beskryf en ’n begrip daarvan op te bou, het ons ’n kwalitatiewe methodology benut, dit is, met die samewerking van die vrou, is ’n outobiografiese skets gekonstruuer, en het ons ’n vorm van analitiese induksie en simboliese interaksionisme benut. Ooreenkomstig die vereistes vir kwalitatiewe navorsing verskaf ons in hierdie artikel ’n uiteensetting van die vernaamste stappe wat in die uitvoer van die studie geneem is. In navolging van die Lowney-Winslows AI benadering (1981), is ons daarvan oortuig dat die studie een ware geval daarstel wat ’n spontane begrip van lesbiërs in die Suid- Afrikaanse Weermag aanmoedig. Dit dien naamlik as ’n beginpunt vir verdere navorsing wat hierdie gevallestudie na ’n meer formele implementering van AI, en in die besonder, die uitvoering van stappe 5 tot 7 kan neem. Ons voel oortuig daarvan dat die studie eties behoorlik en wetenskaplik verantwoordelik van staple gestuur is en dat dit ons waardevolle en ryke inligting omtrend lesbinisme en die Suid-Afrikaanse weermag bied. Vir die gerief van die leser word Thando se volledige verhaal aangebied.
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