Interpretive Phenomenology as applied to Interview Data in QUAL-Dominant Mixed Methods

Principal speaker

Dr Judy Rose

Other speakers

Dr Eunjae Park

This seminar provides an introduction to Interpretive Phenomenology, as described by Smith (2017) and by van Manen (2016). This methodology provides both a philosophy and a procedure for conducting interviews and analysing the interview transcripts. This seminar describes the six steps or "methodological activities", as outlined by van Manen (2016), which require examining: 1. the nature of lived experience, 2. experience as subjects live it; before moving onto 3. drawing out essential themes, 4. the art of writing and rewriting, 5. maintaining a strongly orientated relation, and 6. balancing the research context in terms of how parts contribute to the whole. The analysis of the interview data is an iterative process involving moving back-and-forth between the six steps for interpretation and reflection on meaning. To illustrate the methodology, this seminar draws from a doctoral study investigating the lived experience of international students, as foreign-accented speakers, at an Australian university. This study demonstrates how the six steps can be applied to the interview process and analysis of transcripts. Specifically, the study conducted a series of three semi-structured interviews (1. A life history, 2. Details of experience, 3. Reflection on meaning) with each of the five participants (who were recruited from the survey conducted in the first phase of the study). Then, it applied the six steps to understand what it feels like to be an accented speaker, through the eyes and words of the students who experienced it first-hand. This seminar outlines the benefits and constraints of this approach; for instance, the potential to reap rich data needs to be carefully balanced against the time needed to conduct and analyse multiple interviews from each participant. Lastly, we demonstrate how the use of Interpretive Phenomenology fits into a QUAL-dominant mixed method study.

Format: This seminar will be delivered online during a 1.5 hour period, via Collaborate. The last half hour will be a Q & A session.

Pre-requisites: None

Relationship to other RED workshops and seminars: This seminar is related to the "Mixed Methods Foundations' workshops (MM 1-6) and has particular relevance to "Formulating Open-ended Questions for Interviews as Part of MM', and "Interviewing skills as part of MM' workshops. It is a companion seminar to the more philosophically grounded "Integrating Hermeneutic Phenomenology in QUAL-Dominant MM" seminar that will be offered in July, 2021.

Recommended Readings, before attending: Smith, J. A. (2017). Interpretative phenomenological analysis: Getting at lived experience. The Journal of Positive Psychology, 12(3), 303-304. doi:10.1080/17439760.2016.1262622

Additional Reading: van Manen, M. (2016). Researching lived experience: Human science for an action sensitive pedagogy (2nd ed.). Ontario, Canada: The Althouse Press.


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