Assertiveness in Indian context: Perspectives of women in coastal Karnataka

Vinita A. Acharya, P. S.V.N. Sharma, Sreekumaran Nair

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction: Assertiveness is considered to be an important communication skill influencing our interpersonal relations. It is known to play a role in stress management, conflict resolution and developing a positive self-concept. However, it is often suggested that Indians may not be as assertive as their Western counterparts. Indian women in particular have an image of being docile and submissive in a patriarchal society bowing down to cultural norms. Method: This study is a qualitative inquiry to explore the views of Indian women about assertiveness. Four focus group discussions were conducted with women from different social strata around Udupi and Mangalore to understand their perspectives on assertiveness. Findings: Three key themes emerged from the analysis of the data. Perceptions of others to one being assertive, sense of freedom after having expressed one's emotions assertively and consequences of being assertive appeared to be major concerns in being assertive. Conclusion: Exploring the role of assertiveness in women empowerment and social development is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOnline Journal of Health and Allied Sciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 01-01-2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine(all)


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