Narratives of the Self: Motives, Self-Meaning, and Self Concept of Divorced Women in Cilacap Regency, Central Java, Indonesia


  • Ade Tuti Turistiati ,Yudi Sudiana ,Baby Poernomo ,Nita Triana


complementation, selfconcept, realizations


This study explored the phenomenological details of the lives of women, who successfully divorced their husbands (hereinafter referred to as the "Divorcee") in Cilacap Regency, Central Java, Indonesia. The details revolved around the motives for pursuing the legal case, the self-meaning, and self-concept that emerged in the process. Using a complementation of qualitative research methods, the research data were amalgamation of (i) field notes from the author's fieldwork, (ii) in-depth interviews with fifteen divorcee informants, (iii) key-informant interview with a legal scholar, and (iv) critical review of local "wifeinitiated" divorces cases (i.e., judicial divorce). Results showed economic motives as the main factor for divorce cases filed against the husbands followed by the divorcees' perception of the latter's unwillingness to listen to their expressed economic grievances. The post-divorce experiences engendered for divorcees a bevy of self-meaning realizations revolving at the prospects of being single mothers, coupled with a threshold of self-meaning insights anchored on the prospects of being independent to pursue a new life unencumbered by norms and local stigma attached to divorcees. Divorcees who have economic advantages such as having paid work and regular salary tend to have a more positive selfconcept compared to divorcees who are of different economic thresholds.