the operative word in phenomenological research is ‘describe’.
One-on-one interviews offer a rich, detailed, first-person account of their experiences and phenomena.Interview questions should be open and expansive (encourage participants to talk at length)An interview schedule should be prepared in advance to help the researcher to anticipate and prepare for possible difficulties (sensitive issue, question wording)Questions should not make too many assumptions about participants’ experiences, and should not lead towards particular answersSome questions may be abstract, it is advised to prepare more specific prompts It is also helpful to start with a descriptive question
It requires the researcher’s reflective engagement in a dialogue with a participant’s narrative and meanings.
To become thoroughly familiar with the dataYou can also include other thoughts and comments of potential significanceThe process of engaging with the transcript in close analysis (focusing on content, use of language, context and interpretative comments)
for the researcher, this table is the outcome of an iterative process in which she/he has moved back and forth between the various analytic stages ensuring thatthe integrity of what the participant said has been preserved as far as possible. Ifthe researcher has been successful, then it should be possible for someone else totrack the analytic journey from the raw data through to the end table. (Eatough and Smith (2006)
However, in keeping with IPA’s idiographic commitment, it is important to consider each case on its own terms,trying to ‘bracket’ the ideas and concepts that emerged from the first case.The process is iterative and requires repeated returns to thedata to check meanings. In constructing the final table of themes it may be possibleto amalgamate some themes or to prioritise and reduce the data included in theindividual tables. In selecting themes it is important to take into account prevalenceof data but also the richness of the extracts and their capacity to highlight the themesand enrich the account as a whole.
The table of themes provides the basis for writing up a narrative account of theproject. The narrative account consists of the interplay between the participants’account and the interpretative activity of the researcher.
Theliterature is used concisely to develop some picture of the current state of researchin the specifi c area. The literature review is useful to identify gaps in the field thatthe study aims to address, outline some existing key contributions and offer anargument why the study makes a contribution to the field.
Qualitative Research: Phenomenology
METHODS OF QUALITATIVE RESEARCH: PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH Charisse Gennevieve Ballad Ralph Julius Bawalan
AT A GLANCEWhereas a narrative study reports the life of a single individual, a phenomenological study describes the meaning of several individuals of their lived experience.
PHENOMENOLOGICAL RESEARCH• Identification of a shared experience• Attempt to locate universal nature of an experience• Attempt to identify shared experience among various individuals experiencing shared phenomena• Attempt to locate essence of an experience• What was experienced and How he/she experienced it.
PHENOMENOLOGY• “The study of the lived experiences of persons”• Experience is a conscious process• The “development of [interpretations] of the essences of these experiences
WHY DO IPA? • IPA considers phenomenological inquiry as an INTERPRETATIVE process • IPA is concerned with trying to UNDERSTAND what it is like from the point of view of the participants • PARTICIPANT: trying to make sense of their personal and social world • RESEARCHER: trying to make sense of the participant
METHODS • Purposive sampling (homogenous sample) • Research Question • Involve issues and experiences of considerable significance to the participant/s • Sample/Recruitment of Participants • Snowball sampling • Data Collection • Semi-structured, one-on-one interviews
ANALYSIS • “Iterative, complex, and creative” • In practice, the analysis for phenomenological studies is fluid, iterative, and multi - directional. • “Stages” of Analysis: • Initial • Second • Third • Final
INITIAL STAGE • Read the whole transcript more than once • Record some observations and reflections about the interview experience in a separate reflexive notebook • Textual Analysis
SECOND STAGE • Return to the transcript to transform the initial notes into emerging themes • Main task: To formulate concise phrases that contain enough particularity to remain grounded in the text and enough abstraction to offer conceptual understanding
THIRD STEP• examining the emerging themes and clustering them together according to conceptual similarities.• The task at this stage is to look for patterns in the emerging themes and produce a structure that will be helpful in highlighting converging ideas.
FINAL STEP• In the final stage a table of themes is produced. The table shows the structure of major themes and sub-themes. An illustrative data extract or quote is presented alongside each theme, followed by the line number, so that it is possible to check the context of the extract in the transcript.
MOVING ON• The next step in projects involving more than one participant consists of moving to the next case and repeating the process for each participant.• Inevitably the analysis of the first case will influence further analysis.• In following the steps rigorously for each case separately, it is important to keep an open mind to allow new themes to emerge from each case..• Once all transcripts have been analysed and a table of themes has been constructed for each, a final table of themes is constructed for the study as a whole• In the process of constructing the final table, the tables of themes for each participant are reviewed and, if necessary, amended and checked again with the transcript.
NARRATIVE• It is sensible to take the superordinate themes one by one and write them up in that order. The writing style reflects the IPA approach to analysis, beginning with a close reading grounded in participants‟ accounts before moving towards a more interpretative level.• The narrative account should aim to be persuasive and to mix extracts from participants‟ own words with interpretative comments.• In this way it is possible to retain some of the „voice‟ of the participant and at the same time to enable the reader to assess the pertinence of the interpretations.
PRESENTING THE RESEARCH• The final report starts with an introduction that describes what the project is about and outlines the rationale for the project. The introduction also explains the rationale for using IPA and describes the stages in the process• Following the introduction, in IPA studies the „literature review‟ is quite short as the primary research questions are phenomenological and the process is inductive rather than theory-driven.• It is recognised that during the analysis issues may arise that were not anticipated at the outset. These will be picked up at a later stage by engaging with literature in the „Discussion‟ section.
PRESENTING THE RESEARCH• In a typical IPA study the next section provides a step-by-step guide to the actual method used in the research, including details of participants, data collection method and the process of analysis.• This is followed by presentation of the analysis in narrative form which includes detailed extracts from participants‟ accounts. In the final section, the discussion shifts the focus towards a wider context of a dialogue with existing literature, complementing, illuminating or problematising other perspectives in the literature.• The reader is then able to engage in the process of considering the study in relation to their professional and personal experience as well as the relevant literature. The discussion and conclusion may point towards applications in practice and provide suggestions for further research.
IN SUMMARY• 1. Identification of a “common or shared experience of a phenomenon” • a. Desire to have a better understanding of the phenomena, more than a narrative account of one‟s experience. • • Researcher hopes to better understand “Z” more than subjects a,b,c,d interpretation of Z. • • Their interpretation of Z is necessary for a better understanding of the essence of Z.• 2. The Phenomena is identified• 3. Bracket researcher bias and interpretation• 4. Data Collection:
PROCEDURAL STEPS• Best sample sizes range from 5-25 participants• 5. Questioning: • a. Two Essential Research Questions: • • “What have you experienced in terms of the phenomena?” • • “What contexts or situations have typically influenced or affected your experience of the phenomenon?” • b. Best Practices in Questioning: • 1. Questions should draw from a common theme • 2. Questions should urge participants to identify the affect the phenomenon had on their lived experiences. • 3. Questions should seek to identify the importance of interpreting the experience in a unique way
PROCEDURAL STEPS• 6. Data Analysis: • a. Horizonalization: attempt to understand participant experience. • b. Clusters of Meaning: Unification of interpretations into themes.• 7. Unified Descriptive Account: • a. Unification of textural descriptions into one description • b. Unification of structural descriptions into one description• 8. Presentation of the Invariant Structure: • a. Combination of unified textural and structural descriptions.