Teu le vā: Cultivating the space between: An investigation into Samoan-Palagi intimate partner relationships.
Finnigan, H. S. (2017). Teu le vā: Cultivating the space between: An investigation into Samoan-Palagi intimate partner relationships. (Thesis, Master of Applied Psychology (MAppPsy)). The University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11866
Permanent Research Commons link: https://hdl.handle.net/10289/11866
This thesis investigates how Samoan-Palagi intimate partner relationships flourish. Key areas of investigation include important factors influencing participants’ relationships, what flourishing means to participants, how the flourishing of each partner is supported by the relationship, and how partners negotiate the vā fealoaloa’i (relational space) between them. A qualitative research design was used to examine the lived experiences of two Samoan-Palagi couples. The theoretical framework for this research was informed by the Uputāua Therapeutic Approach, fono fa’atalatalanoa (narrative dialogue) and positioning myself as a naive learner in the research. Data collection involved multiple interviews, first with both partners of each couple and then a follow-up interview with each individual. The information shared in these interviews is presented in two case studies. The findings of this research advocate for flourishing relationships as a process, and suggest that by looking after the relational space and constantly attending to the relationship, it may flourish and grow. The relational space does not refer to a single domain, but is holistic and addresses each partner in their totality. Flourishing, for participants, involves the development of interdependence by navigating a continuum of individual and collective needs, in order to support the relationship. This research provides insight into how vā fealoaloa’i (the relational space) and teu le vā (tending to/looking after this space) can operate in intimate partner relationships.
The University of Waikato
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- Masters Degree Theses