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.

Data Collection and Management

Data Collection and Management

  • Philosophical Underpinnings 94
    • Pre-understanding 95
  • Data Collection 96
    • Interview guide 96
    • Distinctions of hermeneutic interviewing 98
    • Setting the tone of the research 98
    • Using incomplete sentences 101
    • Looking for assent 101
    • Returning the participant to the story 101
    • Pitfalls 102
    • Field notes 103
    • Number of interviews 105
  • Other Data Forms 106
    • Photo elicitation 106
  • Data Management 108
    • Transcription, de-identification and storage 108
    • Using qualitative data management software 109
  • Further Resources 111

Chapter Overview

This chapter addresses the options for data collection and how these are informed by hermeneutic principles from the key philosophers. In hermeneutic phenomenology, the aim is to gain insight into, and reveal meaning of, a given experience as understood and narrated by the experiencing person. The researcher adopts methods which enable the ‘voice’ of the participants to be heard by the reader. ...

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