phenomenology n.
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  1. Phenomenology Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  2. Phenomenology:Definition and Background • Describes the meaning of lived experiences for several individuals • Describes what the participants have in common as they experience a phenomenon • The purpose is to reduce the experiences of the participants with a phenomenon to a description of a universal essence Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  3. Phenomenology:Definition and Background • Researcher collects data from participants, develops a composite description of the essence of the experience that consists of “what” they experience and “how” they experienced it • It has a philosophical foundation based on the writings of Husserl, Heidegger, Sart, and Merleau-Ponty Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  4. Types of Phenomenology:Hermeneutic (van Manen, 1990) • Interpreting the “texts” of life • Phenomenology research is a dynamic interplay among the research activities • Determine a phenomenon • Reflect on the essential themes that constitutes the nature of the lived experience • Write a description of the phenomenon • Use the description to interpret the meanings of the experience Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  5. Types of Phenomenology:Trancendental (Moustakas, 1994) • Focuses on the description of the experiences of the participants • Researchers engage in “epoche” in which they set aside their own experiences to take a fresh perspective toward the phenomenon they are studying (“bracketing”) • Researchers reduce data to “significant statements” from which they construct themes and descriptions and then reduce them to an overall essence of the experience Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  6. Phenomenology Research Procedures:Moustakas (1994) • Determine if the research problem is suited for a phenomenological approach • Identify a phenomenon of interest • Recognize and specify the broad philosophical assumptions of phenomenology • Collect the data from those who have experienced the phenomenon • Multiple interviews (5-25 persons) • Observations • Artifacts (e.g., art, poetry, music) Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  7. Phenomenology Research Procedures:Moustakas (1994) • Ask participants two broad general questions: • What have you experienced in terms of the phenomenon? • What contexts or situations have typically influenced or affected your experiences about the phenomenon? • Identify significant statements (sentences or quotes) that provide an understanding of how the participant experienced the phenomenon • Cluster significant statements into themes Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  8. Phenomenology Research Procedures:Moustakas (1994) • Write Textual and Structural descriptions using the significant statements and themes • Textual Descriptions: a description of what the participants experienced • Structural Descriptions: a description of the context or setting that influenced how the participants experienced the phenomenon • Write a composite description that presents the “essence” of the phenomenon using the Textual and Structural descriptions that focuses on the common experiences of the participants and the meaning of all of the experiences Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  9. Phenomenology Example: Anderson & Spencer (2002) • Overview of the Study • The study focused on the cognitive representations that AIDS patients held about their disease • The authors advanced the Self-Regulation Model of Illness Representation that suggested that patients were active problem solvers whose behavior was a product of their cognitive and emotional responses to AIDS. • The study described how patients represented AIDS in images had not been studied Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  10. Phenomenology Example:Anderson & Spencer (2002) • Overview of methodology: Data collection • The study involved conducting interviews for over 18 months with 58 men and women with a diagnosis of AIDS • The interview questions reflected a phenomenological framework • What is your experience with AIDS? • Do you have a mental image of HIV/AIDS? • What feelings come to mind? • What does it mean to have it in your life? • The participants were also asked to draw pictures of their disease • Only eight participants drew pictures • Authors integrated these pictures into their data analysis Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  11. Phenomenology Example:Anderson & Spencer (2002) • Overview of methodology: Data analysis • The transcripts were read several times • The significant phrases or sentences were identified • The meanings were clustered into themes (175 significant statements and 11 major themes) • The results were integrated into an in-depth exhaustive description of the phenomenon • The findings were validated using member checking and their remarks were included into the final description • The study concluded with the essence (the exhaustive description of the patient’s experiences and coping strategies) Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  12. Phenomenology Example:Anderson & Spencer (2002) • Features of a phenomenological study • The study used systematic data analysis procedures of significant statements, meanings and themes, and an essence • The study included tables illustrating significant statements, meanings and theme clusters • The study included a central phenomenon that was appropriate for phenomenology • The study involved rigorous data collection with 58 participants • The study ended by describing the essence of the experience Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  13. Phenomenology Reporting Structures • Introduction (problem, questions) • Research procedures (a phenomenology and philosophical assumptions, data collection, analysis, outcomes) • Significant statements • Meanings of statements • Themes of meanings • Exhaustive description of phenomenon (Adapted from Moustakas, 1994) Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  14. Encoding Your Study • Use the terminology associated with phenomenological research • This terminology appears throughout a study – the statement of the problem, the purpose, the research questions, the sampling strategies • A glossary of terms associated phenomenology is in Appendix A Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  15. Phenomenology: Overall Rhetorical Structure(Moustakas, 1994) • Write separate sections for significant statements, meaning units, textual and structural descriptions, and for the essence • Can use tables to convey findings • Include a passage on the philosophical assumptions of phenomenology • Be sure and describe the phenomenon and talk about the context in which it occurs • As with all qualitative research, be reflexive and position yourself Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  16. Phenomenology: Embedded Rhetorical Structure • The essence of the experience is presented through a short narrative paragraph that is based on the textual and structural descriptions • The paragraph containing the essence is enclosed in a figure Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  17. Phenomenology: Embedded Rhetorical Structure • The reader is also educated about phenomenology and its philosophical assumptions • At the end of the study the researcher writes a short paragraph about how the “essence” in terms of its value and inspiration to the researcher’s life Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  18. Use of Quotes • Use quotes (short, medium, long) to provide voices of participants • Use short eye-catching quotes • Use embedded quotes • Use longer quotations – requires the reader to be guided “into” and “out of” Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e

  19. Phenomenological Research Challenges • Understanding the broad philosophical assumptions of phenomenology • Choosing individuals for the study who have all experienced the phenomenon so that a common understanding can be forged • Bracketing personal experiences – Researchers must decide how their personal experiences will be introduced into the study Creswell Qualitative Inquiry 2e