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Open Windows to Widows:
Long-Term Widowhood as Expressed and Manifested in an Online Group

THESIS ABSTRACT
Ayala Katz, October 7, 2008


Open Windows to Widows:
Long-Term Widowhood as Expressed and Manifested in an Online Group
 
The purpose of this study was to explore the experience of IDF Widows participating in the online group, in conjunction with my own experience as a participant and as the creator and facilitator of the group. The study sought to identify the major themes brought by the women to the online group (a) regarding their lives and (b) regarding the online group. It also aimed to explore the meaning behind the themes, behind the experience. As all activity explored in this study is in a group context, certain typical group processes and phenomena revealed themselves during the quest of the experience and meaning.
 
Intuitive Inquiry, grounded in Heuristic research was the overall framework for this research. Thematic analysis was employed to collect, organize and analyze the text that IDF Widows wrote in an online group, an Internet forum open to the public, through a year and a half. The women wrote about their lives, about the way they see the society and the way they feel regarding the expectations from them, as IDF Widows. They also wrote about the online group itself and how they feel about it. They related to each other, shared the pain and the joy, the destruction and construction of various life and self parts. They cried together, laughed together and encouraged each other in cyberspace.
 
The magic and power of face-to-face groups revealed itself in this online group, enabling participants to discover themselves through the contact, connection, holding and resonance with others. 

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