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Indigenous research on Indian culture: Understanding meaning of LajjA

On April 4 Richa Awasthy (PhD, Assistant Professor, Ambedkar University Delhi, India) took part in the "Culture matters" research seminar with the report "Indigenous research on Indian culture: Understanding meaning of LajjA".

In this global world, people carry cultural baggage, which interface self and interpersonal interactions. One of the deeply ingrained Indian value is LajjA. It is much like an internal governor that guides our daily behaviour by preventing us from doing what is not appropriate. Present study aim to capture lived expereinces of Indian. This paper presents semantic analysis of the term LajjA in Indian context and shares phenomenological perspective through grounded data.

Qualitative approach was followed to understand participants understanding of the construct LajjA and attempt to infer aspects of phenomena. Inspired from phenomenological approach authors began study by bracketing their personal biases and lived personal experiences.  A broad question was asked related to what have you experienced in terms of phenomenon?  Data was collected through in-depth interview with 15 people.  Data was content analyzed to discover essence of meaning in data to create composite description that presents the “essence” of the phenomenon. Analysis throws light on antecedents, consequences and construct of LajjA.

As a construct multi-layer meaning was derived in terms of internal core, socially learned behaviour, act as filter, and perceived as a unique pleasant experience which has a capacity to transform.  Antecedents of LajjA are intrapersonal, interpersonal, family, gender and demographic.  Consequences include physiological response, feelings, and interpersonal relation. Findings are interpreted from cultural perspective about karniya and akarniya.

Current study discusses one of the important cultural Indian value Lajja, which has its roots in self-image. Deep sense of shame could be Lajja, which you find difficult to explain. It has profound implications in Indians interpersonal adjustments in cross cultural context.