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Phenomenology is a challenging method for many students to understand and apply. Introduction to Phenomenology: Focus on Methodology breaks down the history, methodology, and application so students can more easily write proposals and conduct phenomenological research. Author Cheryl Tatano Beck draws on her depth of experience in applying and teaching phenomenological methods to distill the method into a single guidebook for students and new researchers alike. This introductory book provides a clearer picture of phenomenology as method and its applications to social, behavioral, and health sciences, covering both interpretive and descriptive phenomenology from research design through analysis.

This book is divided into four parts. Part I briefly provides the philosophical underpinnings of descriptive and interpretive (hermeneutic) phenomenology, summarizing the main goals of the original texts. Part II focuses on descriptive phenomenology, while Part III concentrates on interpretive phenomenology. Each type of methodology is covered in its own chapter, with tables comparing the methodologies to one another so readers can better understand the differences and similarities. Part IV addresses evaluating, writing, and teaching phenomenology. Unique chapters on writing a proposal, getting your study published, developing a research program, and preparing to teach phenomenology help complete the cycle of research and help graduate students transition from student to researcher to teacher. Appendices provide study activities for students and examples of two types of phenomenological proposals.



 
List of Tables and Figures
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1. Introduction
 
Part 1. Philosophical Underpinnings of the Methodology
 
Chapter 2. Philosophy of Phenomenology
Edmund Husserl

 
Martin Heidegger

 
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

 
Hans-Georg Gadamer

 
 
Part 2. Descriptive Phenomenology
 
Chapter 3. Paul Colaizzi’s Descriptive Phenomenological Methodology
Research Question

 
Sample

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
The Lived Experience of Postpartum Depression

 
Examples of Research from Various Disciplines

 
 
Chapter 4. Amedeo Giorgi’s Descriptive Phenomenological Methodology
Research Question

 
Sample

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Examples of Published Studies Using Giorgi’s Descriptive Phenomenological Methodology

 
 
Chapter 5. Adrian van Kaam’s Descriptive Phenomenological Methodology and Clark Moustakas’s Modification
Research Question

 
Sample

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Examples of a Study from My Program of Research

 
Additional Examples of Studies Using Van Kaam’s Descriptive Phenomenological Approach

 
Clark Moustakas’s Modification of van Kaam’s Approach

 
Examples of Moustakas’s Modification of Van Kaam’s Approach

 
Comparison of van Kaam’s Methodology and Moustakas’s Modification

 
 
Chapter 6. Karin Dahlberg’s Descriptive Phenomenological Reflective Lifeworld Research
Introduction to the Reflective Lifeworld Methodology

 
Descriptive Phenomenological Reflective Lifeworld Approach

 
Comparison of Five Descriptive Phenomenological Methodologies

 
Choosing one of the Descriptive Phenomenological Methods

 
 
Part 3. Interpretive Phenomenology
 
Chapter 7. Max van Manen’s Hermeneutic Phenomenological Approach
Research Question

 
Sample

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
Examples of International Research from Various Disciplines Using Van Manen’s Methodology

 
 
Chapter 8. Patricia Benner’s Interpretive Phenomenological Methodology
Sample

 
Data Analysis

 
International Examples of Studies Using Benner’s Interpretive Phenomenological Methodology

 
 
Chapter 9. Jonathan Smith’s Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
Research Questions

 
Sample

 
Data Collection

 
Data Analysis

 
International Examples of IPA Research from Various Disciplines

 
 
Chapter 10. Karin Dahlberg’s Hermeneutic Reflective Lifeworld Research Methodology
Hermeneutic Reflective Lifeworld Methodology

 
Comparison of the Four Interpretive Phenomenological Methodologies

 
Choosing One of the Interpretive Phenomenological Methodologies

 
 
Part 4. Evaluating, Writing, and Teaching Phenomenology
 
Chapter 11. Trustworthiness in Qualitative Research
Trustworthiness vs. Reliability and Validity

 
Strategies for Enhancing Quality

 
Criteria for Evaluating Phenomenological Research

 
Criteria for Evaluating Qualitative Research in General

 
Student Exercise for Evaluating a Phenomenological Study

 
 
Chapter 12. Phenomenological Writing
Strategies

 
Figures

 
Qualitative Reporting Checklists

 
End-of-Chapter Study Activities

 
 
Chapter 13. Developing a Program of Research Using Phenomenology
 
Chapter 14. Teaching Phenomenology: Preparing Our Next Generation of Researchers
Other Faculty Members’ Teaching Strategies

 
My Teaching Strategies

 
Phenomenology Tips

 
 
Glossary
 
Appendix A. First Study Activity for Students
 
Appendix B. Second Study Activity for Students
 
Appendix C. Mothers’ Experiences of Posttraumatic Growth Following Traumatic Childbirth: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study Proposal
 
Appendix D. The Impact of Traumatic Birth on Mothers Caring for Their Children: An Interpretive Phenomenological Study Proposal
 
Index

The structural flow of the text makes perfect sense. Beginning with the basic underpinnings, it offers explanations of "why" different methods based on underpinnings exist. Examples help solidify these concepts, which are often overwhelming and unorganized. This text has them all in one place, explained concisely, and provides proper cause/format to compare/contrast to assist in understanding which methodology makes logical sense to use for answering your research question.

Alexander Jun, Ph.D.
Azusa Pacific Univeristy

This book was clearly written by a seasoned researcher and expert teacher who understands the complexity of doing phenomenology with quality and rigor with the goal of understanding life experiences of people in a way to provide insight and promote understanding.

Dr. Suzanne S. Dickerson
University at Buffalo, School of Nursing

This textbook offers a rarely found introduction to a complex philosophy that is also used as a research methodology. It guides students, faculty, and readers into the complex form of research known as phenomenological inquiry in its various styles, and without disappointing the reader throughout. It uses simple language to explain a complex style of human science research. This is a must read for all those who are new to phenomenology, and is especially useful to novice researchers who need to develop a phenomenological research study.

Luis Gomez
Fielding Graduate University

It addresses a genuine need in qualitative research literature, especially if the author can write clearly about these complex ideas for students and researchers to truly understand what empirical phenomenology is about. Having useful, purposeful examples is a key asset as well.

Davin J. Carr-Chellman
University of Idaho

...this book contributes uniquely to emphasizing the methods and procedures of phenomenological research, and this is an obvious passion and goal of the author.

Dr. Tyrone Bynoe
University of Michigan - Flint

There are many strengths of this book, including organizing key authors by descriptive or interpretive phenomenology. Focusing more on analysis, and use of examples for analysis. Explaining how philosophy impacts methods sounds promising. I love the last two chapters: phenomenology proposals, and getting published! I feel this would help me as a faculty member!

Jason Lawson
University of Mary
Key features
  • Breaks down the history, methodology, and application so students can more easily write proposals and conduct phenomenological research
  • Draws on author Cheryl Tatano Beck’s depth of experience in applying and teaching phenomenological methods to distill the method into a single guidebook for students and new researchers alike
  •  Provides a clearer picture of phenomenology as method and its applications to social, behavioral, and health sciences
  • Covers both interpretive and descriptive phenomenology from research design through analysis
  • Provides the philosophical underpinnings of descriptive and interpretive (hermeneutic) phenomenology
  • Contains unique chapters on writing a proposal, getting your study published, developing a research program, and preparing to teach phenomenology
  • Helps complete the cycle of research and help graduate students transition from student to researcher to teacher
  • Appendices provide study activities for students and examples of two types of phenomenological proposals



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