Quality of marriage among Malays

Abdul Razak Abd Manaf

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

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Existing literature and much of the research on marriage and family experiences have been largely and commonly problem-based and deficit-oriented. Even though some strength-focused approaches to the study of marriages and families have been undertaken and have gained momentum there is still much empirical work needed in order for us to understand the complexity and intricacies of what constitutes a quality marital relationship. In this qualitative research study, I analysed how quality of marriage is conceptualised and understood by Malays within a Malaysian context. I undertook the research in order to capture and understand how a cohort of Malay people understand and give meaning to the concept of 'good quality marital relationship'. Research studies on marital quality in Malay culture are very limited and numerically at least, they compare poorly to western scholarly output on this subject. Even though much contemporary marriage literature refers to the importance of gaining an appreciation of cultural issues related to marriage and family, there is a real need for more cross-cultural research. In examining Malay concepts of quality marriage I not only address a culturally-specific research need but attempt to use this to advance cultural sensitivity among relevant policy makers, practitioners, researchers and members of the public. In this research, in-depth semi-structured interviews were conducted in the Kubang Pasu district, in Kedah, one of the northern states of Malaysia with forty-five participants across different socioeconomic and demographic backgrounds. In what is an exploratory study I adopted a combination of maximum variation and purposive sampling and utilised a grounded theory framework to underpin the analysis. The data were analysed using both rigorous manual coding and NVivo qualitative software.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Publication statusUnpublished - 2009


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