This study investigates how the concepts sense of coherence and spirituality are inter-related and contribute to the health and wellbeing of 13 women working in South African higher education institutions. Drawing from Antonovsky’s work on salutogenesis data are analyzed in terms of three sub-components, namely, manageability, comprehensibility, and meaningfulness. Interview data on manageability point to an action component where the pursuit of work-life balance is uniquely experienced by women, not only as a challenge, but is also actively pursued as a strength resource. On comprehensibility, the data captured women’s attitudes in terms of being realistic and understanding of others and of the work context. The data show that women rely most on meaningfulness as a coping resource wheather they are speaking of their life orientation (SOC) or their spiritual orientation. Spirituality in this study is connected foremost to transpersonality. A connection between women’s spirituality and their sense of coherence, is made by positing that combined, they serve as a coping and wellbeing resource in the work place. A “recursive cosmosis model” is then offered to illustrate the key salutogenic and spiritual strength resources used by women leaders in this study.
Mayer, C.-H., & Surtee, S. (2016). The “recursive cosmosis” model: South African women in higher education finding strength and resilience. In C. Roland-Lévy, P. Denoux, B. Voyer, P. Boski, & W. K. Gabrenya Jr. (Eds.), Unity, diversity and culture. Proceedings from the 22nd Congress of the International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/iaccp_papers/170