DATE: Friday, August 24, 2012
TIME: 12:00 p.m.
PLACE: Studio, Lambert Road campus
CANDIDATE: Shabana Soomar
DISSERTATION TITLE: "A Phenomenological Study of a Culture-specific Theory of Self and Other Among Individuals With Autism in the United States and India"
PROGRAM-TRACK/YEAR: PhD-O; 2004
CHAIR: Dr. James Broderick
READER: Dr. Christine Lewis
EXTERNAL READER: Dr. Christopher R. Knight
Soomar, S. (2012). A Phenomenological Study of a Culture-specific Theory of Self and Other Among Individuals With Autism in the United States and India (Doctoral dissertation, Pacifica Graduate Institute, 2012)
The purpose of this phenomenological study was to research a theory of self and other in Autism in the United States and India. The study results suggest that individuals affected with Autism experience the world using a multidimensional understanding of self and other. Self and other were each found to be represented by a teleological blend of layered selves and others. The dimensions of self include lost self, uncertain self, impulsive self, naive self, tenacious self, misunderstood self, confused self, ineffective self, anxious self, logical self, closed self, ambitious self, transforming self, fixated self, inwardly-focused self, different self, moralistic self, emotional self, inarticulate self, and discomforted-by-negative self. The dimensions of the other include catalyst other, inaccessible other, impenetrable other, unaware other, afflicted other, perplexing other, inauthentic other, judgmental other, ignorable other, isolating other, and knowing other. The observation of these latent dimensions underscores the unexplored depths of Autism and of the untapped potential of these individuals in our societies. The study also identified differences in what individuals consider motivating, demotivating, caring, and noncaring in the United States and India. The knowledge of these factors could prove valuable to scholars and practitioners in developing sensitive and culturally-contexted therapies to help individuals identified with Autism. Please note: All oral defense attendees must shuttle from the Best Western Hotel in Carpinteria.