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.

Reflexivity and Rigour

  • Prejudice 137
  • Reflexivity Throughout the Research Process 139
    • The research idea 140
    • The literature search and the research question 140
    • Recruiting study participants 141
    • Data collection 142
    • Data analysis 144
  • Co-Constitution 145
    • Co-constitution in data collection 146
    • Co-constitution in analysis 148
  • The Role of Rigour 149
    • Validity, reliability and generalisability 149
    • Trustworthiness, credibility, dependability, confirmability
    • and transferability 150
    • Rigour in hermeneutic phenomenological research 153
  • Further Resources 155

Chapter Overview

In this chapter, we address the risks to rigour that can arise in hermeneutic study, and the role of reflexivity and other techniques, including co-constitution during data collection (Chapter 6) and data analysis (Chapter 7), which enhance rigour, thus increasing the credibility, reliability and trustworthiness of the findings. Unlike post-positivistic/quantitative research, and descriptive phenomenology where the influence of the researcher is designed out of the study, ...

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