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Doing Hermeneutic Phenomenological Research

Doing Hermeneutic Phenomenological Research
A Practical Guide

October 2020 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This practical guide offers an approachable introduction to doing hermeneutic phenomenological research across the health and social sciences. Grounded in real world research, it integrates philosophy, methodology and method in accessible ways, helping you realize the potential of using phenomenology to guide research.

The book maps the complete research process and shows how to apply key philosophical tenets to your project, demonstrating the close relationship between philosophy and research practice. It:

  • Shows step-by-step how to translate philosophy into research methodology and turn methodology into robust research design
  • Focuses on applied practice, illustrating theoretical discussions with examples and case studies
  • Promotes advanced thinking about hermeneutic phenomenology in an easy to understand way
  • Highlights the need for researchers to engage reflexively with the whole research process.
Part I: Philosophy and thinking
Chapter 1: Philosophical perspectives
Chapter 2: Coming to thinking
Part II: Designing the hermeneutic phenomenology study
Chapter 3: Literature review and refining the hermeneutic research question
Chapter 4: Population and sampling
Chapter 5: Being ethical
Part III: Delivering the hermeneutic phenomenology study
Chapter 6: Data collection and management
Chapter 7: Data analysis and interpretation
Chapter 8: Reflexivity and rigour
Chapter 9: Writing and dissemination
Part IV: Personal entrees into hermeneutic phenomenology

A book qualitative researchers have long waited for! This text concisely explains how to do hermeneutic phenomenological research. Drawing on Heidegger, Gadamer and the phenomenological movement, and rooted in a distinctively interpretive paradigm, the authors' methodology is interested in understanding people’s perception of meanings, their views and lived experience. The book leads readers through the research process, from the refinement of the research question, literature review, data collection, interviewing and data analysis to reflexivity, research ethics and dissemination. It is a practical guide, immensely useful both for novice and experienced researchers in healthcare and beyond.

Christoph Rehmann-Sutter
Professor of Theory and Ethics in the Biosciences, University of Lübeck, Germany

Phenomenological philosophy is often perceived as a lofty and verbally verbose form of learning, without practical value or merit. However, reading this book certainly puts paid to that illusion. The practical topics of research that these active researchers explore are so humanly psychological, dealing with socially pressing themes that require better understanding. These pragmatic writers give meaning to the idea that ‘faith without works is dead.’ They translate their philosophical vision for health and social science to deeds; there is a recognition of the unevenness of the world environs and the book is driven by a desire to improve things. 
By sharing the how and the what of their collective research, they offer a very transparent kaleidoscope into how hermeneutic phenomenological methodology and method are realised as one. If you are a researcher with a passion for your subject matter, the authors of the book have done a magnificent job in demonstrating how we can translate research passion into realisable intentions for making it happen.

Gerard Rodgers
Chartered psychologist, psychotherapist and author

Lesley Dibley

Lesley Dibley is Reader in Nursing Research and Education, who also leads the Centre for Chronic Illness and Ageing in the Institute for Lifecourse Development at the University of Greenwich, London, United Kingdom. She  was awarded her PhD in 2014 for an interpretive phenomenology study of the experience of stigma in people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), has recently completed another funded project on the experience of kinship (family) stigma in IBD and has other active projects including an exploration of the experiences of young adults living with long fusion for idiopathic scoliosis, the experience of adjustment to... More About Author

Suzanne Dickerson

Suzanne Dickerson is a Professor and Department Chair of Bio-behavioural Health and Clinical Science at the University at Buffalo, School of Nursing.  Her current research focuses on sleep science with the goal of understanding patients’ contextual meaning of sleep-wake disturbances through hermeneutical phenomenology.  This insight forms the basis of new knowledge that can be instrumental in translating clinical research to practice that embeds meaningful approaches into care practices to improve sleep. She has developed an online course in the methodology and mentors PhD and visiting faculty in the approach.  She is a... More About Author

Mel Duffy

Mel Duffy is Assistant Professor in Sociology and Sexuality Studies in the School of Nursing Psychotherapy & Community Health, Dublin City University, Dublin, Ireland. She teaches courses in sociology and sexuality studies at both undergraduate and graduate level.  After completing her PhD in DCU in 2008, she has pursued an active research programme in qualitative research, with a particular focus on hermeneutic phenomenology.  Her work focusses on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex individuals’ experiences of living their lives in the world they find themselves in, writing and presenting on: lesbian... More About Author

Roxanne Vandermause

Roxanne Vandermause is the Interim Dean, Professor and the Donald L. Ross Endowed Chair for Advancing Nursing Practice at the University of Missouri-St. Louis College of Nursing. Her research involves the use of hermeneutical phenomenology and mixed methods to study addictions and racial/ethnic and gender disparities in care for mental health and other chronic conditions. She has presented across the U.S. and internationally and published widely in various venues. She teaches all educational levels in nursing and across various graduate-level disciplines, including coursework in ethics, theory and qualitative methodologies. Many of her PhD... More About Author

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