Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Work


Lyle S. Hallman Faculty of Social Work

First Advisor

Martha Keniston Laurence

Advisor Role

Thesis Supervisor


This research aims both to investigate the gender role identity characteristics of young Taiwanese women who grew up in the post-Martial Law era and to develop a gender role identity model of young Taiwanese women. A grounded theory approach and in-depth interviews were employed. Open sampling, variational sampling, and discriminate sampling, along with open coding, axial coding, and selective coding were employed. Twenty-three young Taiwanese undergraduate women, aged nineteen to twenty one, were interviewed. Self-in-relation theory, female moral reasoning, women's ways of knowing, characteristics of collectivist cultures, Chinese/Taiwanese cultural assumptions about women, and the impact of Taiwanese women's participation in the labor force were used as sources to support the interpretation of data. The results indicate that the relational self is the main gender role identity characteristic of young Taiwanese women who grew up in the post-Martial Law era. Influenced by the Confucian paradigm, multiplicity, and freedom of expression in the post-Martial Law era, the young women in this research put people into different social categories and use different Confucian ethics to interact with each category They build a less feminine and trustful relationship with familiar peers, whereas they build a traditional feminine and distant relationship with unfamiliar peers. They are cold to strangers and familiar friends who have hurt them. They adopt a chameleon-like strategy to interact with elders/teachers. They build a caring and deferential relationship with parents. In their relationship with intimate male partners, they endeavor to negotiate equal power. Compared to the literature on Taiwanese women both during the Martial Law era and the Japanese Occupation, the relationship of young Taiwanese women to their intimate male partners has changed dramatically The results also indicate that the young women in this research see their future in tern-is of jobs, marriage, and financial independence. They also intend to go abroad to open their own eyes to other cultures. Taiwan is a patriarchal society and these results indicate that several patriarchal socialization requirements of young women are still prevalent. For example, young women are not allowed to go out at night and they retain a negative image of feminists. According to the findings of this research, a relational self model of young Taiwanese women within their cultural context is proposed. Since relational self is the major characteristic of gender role identity of young Taiwanese women in this research, the findings of this research support what self-in-relation theory proposes However, adopting different ethics to interact with people is not proposed in self-in-relation theory. Therefore, this research suggests that adopting different ethics to interact with people should be included when applying self-in-relation theory to young Taiwanese women. Implications for clinical social work practice, social work education, and future research are addressed.

Convocation Year


Convocation Season