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Introduction to Phenomenology

Introduction to Phenomenology
Focus on Methodology

April 2020 | 224 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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
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


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


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


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


Data Collection

Data Analysis

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

Chapter 8. Patricia Benner’s Interpretive Phenomenological Methodology

Data Analysis

International Examples of Studies Using Benner’s Interpretive Phenomenological Methodology

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


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


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

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

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

A very helpful text suitable for Masters level research methods students at dissertation stage. Clearly explains the different approaches to phenomenology. Student and teacher friendly.

Dr Sarah McLaughlin
Health, Bristol University
November 9, 2022

A useful text to help clarify some of the key ideas from phenomenology.

Dr Louise Campbell
School of Education & Social Work, Dundee University
June 1, 2021

I didn't end up teaching this course. However, if I do teach it in the future, this will be the textbook.

Mr Steven Dyer
Arts Sciences Division, Thomas College
August 24, 2021

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