- A viewer centered theory
with emphasis upon personal experience. This perspective stresses
personal lived experience (i.e., embodied meaning). Meaning depends
on bodily perceptions and personal interpretations.
- A Phenomenology Interpretive
Process: Set aside everyday
way of seeing and experience as though seeing the situation for
the first time (recognize & set aside observer's filters)
- Receptiveness (Recognize that you have a strong personal response.)
- Orienting & Bracketing
(Document response and note
that which is unique to this experience)
- Grounding & Interpretative
Analysis (List observations
- next to it list interpretive meanings. This sets up a self-reflexive
- Synthesis (Look for shared interpretations within the
- Select a specific theorist
since they differ in emphasis. There
are diverse strands of a phenomenological approach to research.
Decide by studying several options such as: (a) Husserlian phenomenology--bracketing,
reduction, etc.; (b) Merleau-Ponty (expanded on Husserl with
a focus on lived bodily presence, the transcendental nature of
perception, and intentionality); (c) Ilde's experimental phenomenology
stresses the variety of ways of seeing optical patterns and illusions
and his writings on postphenomenology emphasizes cultural-hermeneutic,
textual dimensions; and (d) Iris Young (extends phenomenology
into gender issues using displacement as its primary tool-referred
to as variational phenomenology).
- Since in a phenomenological
approach to researching a naturally occuring situation, the mental
and physical aspects of experience are viewed a single intentional
event the literature review in such a study should include a
discussion on different ways of knowing, naming, experiencing
and conceptualizing so that your exposure to these differences
will help you to see more in your qualitative study.
- Consider positionality, center/margins
or nonhierachical investigation. Discuss the multiplicity of
positionality. Discuss the subject and object of your study.
Is the subject of your study the same as the object of your study?
- The phenomenological approach
requires studying experiences from a first person researcher's
perspective. Therefore your own beliefs in regards to the one
phenomenon studied should be exposed in your study.
- While phenomenology is an approach
you will need to identify a theoretical frame as a guiding lens
to focus your study. Will you do a synchronic structural account
(i.e., Husserlian phenomenology) or will you look at what is
absent that makes the present experience possible (i.e., Heidegger's
phenomenological approach or Derrida's differance)? Is there
a center to what you are looking at or multiple centers--what
are they specifically? When you look for evidence of or lack
of the phenomenon you are studying what filter or lens will you
use to read, analyze, and interpret the data?
- Berleant, A. (1985). Toward a phenomenological aesthetics
of environment. In D. Ihde & H. Silverman (Eds.), Descriptions.
New York: State University of New York Press.
Blach, D. (1997). (Course Topic: Phenomena, Phenomenology,
and Phenomenography: Summary). The Graduate School of America
[On-line]. Available: http://www.tgsa.edu/online/cybrary/phenom.html
Breen, R. (1999). Using phenomenography to explore student
motivations and learning experiences in our disciplines. The
18th International Human Science Research Conference. [On-line].
Derrida, J. (1989). Of spirit: Heidegger and the Question.
G. Benningtom & R. Bowlby (Trans.). Chicago: University of
Heidegger, M. (1962). Being and time. J. Macquarrie
& E. Robinson (Trans.) New York: Haper & Row (original
work published in 1927).
Idhe, D. (1993). Postphenomenology: Essays in postmodern
context. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.
Kearlsey, G. (2000). Phenomenology. [On-line]. Available:
Pedagogik, N. (1995). A developmental or a 'pure' phenomenographic
interest-are there methodological implications? Journal of
Nordic Educational Research, 15(3), 144-155. [On-line]. Available:
Richardson, J. E. T. (1999). The concepts and methods of phenomenographic
research. Review of Educational Research, 69(1), pp. 53-82.
Welton, D. (Ed.) (1999). The essential Husserl: Basic writings
in transcendental phenonmenology. Bloomington: Indiana University