On the function and importance of research design in existential-phenomenological qualitative research

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Abstrakt

Within the phenomenological and hermeneutical qualitative research literature, different emphasis is placed on the preparatory phase. From Giorgi, to van Manen and IPA. But they all share an openness toward the lived experience of the research participant and hence a restraint from a too controlled inquiry.
This is very different from the research traditions within the social sciences, which traditionally emphasizes the importance of research design and a controlled inquiry, even with respect to qualitative research. Social research is traditionally divided into three phases: planning, execution and reporting. Both De Vaus (2001, Research Design in Social Research) and Blaikie (2009, Designing Social Research) highlight the preparatory phase stressing the importance of designing an inquiry in a way, that brings empirical material forth that makes it possible to answer the research question in a convincing way. This principle of controlled inquiry manifests itself in different ways within qualitative and quantitative traditions of social science research. But still, is this principle also applicable and relevant with respect to qualitative human science research?
I think so. I hence make the argument that there would be a fruitful contribution to much phenomenological research from a greater emphasis on research design and controlled inquiry. But is it possible to combine these social science research principles with a phenomenological and hermeneutical approach to qualitative research?
Existential phenomenology is here understood as a striving to understand human phenomena and experience, and it is thus both a style of questioning and researching as well as a ontology. The merleau-pontian analytical distinction between the lived experience (of a landscape) and the theoretical conceptualizations and signs that describe and explains it (the map) brings the experience of the research participant into focus. At the same time this analytical distinction makes it possible to guide the research through a research question and in light of fore-understandings and theoretical perspectives, without reducing the experience as lived.
Based on an existential-phenomenological interpretation of Blaikie’s work on research design, this presentation will discuss the function and consequences of a strong emphasis on research design and a controlled inquiry within qualitative human science research.
OriginalsprogEngelsk
Publikationsdato2015
StatusUdgivet - 2015
BegivenhedThe 34th International Human Science Research Conference - Trondheim, Norge
Varighed: 11 aug. 201514 aug. 2015

Konference

KonferenceThe 34th International Human Science Research Conference
LandNorge
ByTrondheim
Periode11/08/201514/08/2015

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Citationsformater

Feilberg, C. (2015). On the function and importance of research design in existential-phenomenological qualitative research. Abstract fra The 34th International Human Science Research Conference, Trondheim, Norge.