Hermeneutic phenomenology is an approach traditionally used in nursing and health but which is now seeing more pick up in other human-centred disciplines including pyschology, education and sociology. It explores individuals' lived experience and considers how this can be used to understand motivation and engagement. Many of the books in this space are extremely dense and focus on the philosophy and theory rather than applied practice. They also tend to be self-referential and inward facing; they do not try to make the field accessible to new researchers and students. This book is designed to be used by MA and PhD students as well as by early career academics who need an easy introduction to best practice. The authors set out the advantages and disadvantages of the methodology using real world (published) case studies. The book carefully combines philosophy, methodology and method. The key philosophers of phenomenology are presented and explored, and the translation of philosophy into research theory is explained by experienced hermeneutic phenomenological researchers. They then demonstrate explicit ways in which the methodology underpins researchers' choices and how this is translated when designing hermeneutic studies. The book is structured around the research process with chapters mapping each step from design all the way through to dissemination. It will take students step-by-step through their research projects as well as helping them to critique their own work and research output from other scholars. There has been a resurgence in publishing hermeneutic phenomenological titles with three new competitor titles publishing in recent years. One of these titles ties theory to practice but it is still very philosophical and is not a teaching text - the author includes high level discussions of complex research and assumes significant prior knowledge. We don't have much in this space, there is an Inc title Cohen et al. Hermeneutic Phenomenological Research (2000), and several books with chapters covering this topic. The proposed book is much more focused than Smith's Interpretative Phenomenological bestseller but it fills a gap in our coverage.

Population and Sampling

  • Situatedness 52
  • Situatedness and Access to a Study Population 53
  • Participant Source, Population and Sampling 53
  • Sampling Method 54
  • Sample Size 55
    • The overall purpose of the research 56
    • The relationship between rarity of topic and sample size 60
    • The depth and completeness of data being collected 61
    • The method of analysis being used 62
    • Inclusion and exclusion criteria 64
  • Further Resources 66

Chapter Overview

In this chapter, we address the ways in which hermeneutic scholars identify and recruit participants, the role of inclusion and exclusion criteria, and issues of access whilst designing these aspects of the research to reflect Heidegger's key notions of Being and Time. For Heidegger, experience is always ‘situated’ – it does not exist in isolation from the time and context in which it occurs: ‘The self which ...

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