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Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
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Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
Theory, Method and Research



May 2009 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

"'It is not often I can use "accessible" and "phenomenology" in the same sentence, but reading the new book, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis…certainly provides me the occasion to do so. I can say this because these authors provide an engaging and clear introduction to a relatively new analytical approach"
--The Weekly Qualitative Report

This book presents a comprehensive guide to interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) which is an increasingly popular approach to qualitative inquiry taught to undergraduate and postgraduate students today.

The first chapter outlines the theoretical foundations for IPA. It discusses phenomenology, hermeneutics, and idiography and how they have been taken up by IPA. The next four chapters provide detailed, step by step guidelines to conducting IPA research: study design, data collection and interviewing, data analysis, and writing up. In the next section, the authors give extended worked examples from their own studies in health, sexuality, psychological distress, and identity to illustrate the breadth and depth of IPA research. Each of these chapters also offers a guide to other good exemplars of IPA research in the designated area. The final section of the book considers how IPA connects with other contemporary qualitative approaches like discourse and narrative analysis and how it addresses issues to do with validity.

The book is written in an accessible style and will be extremely useful to students and researchers in psychology and related disciplines in the health and social sciences.
 
PART ONE: DOING IPA: Theory and Method
 
The Theoretical Foundations of IPA
 
Planning an IPA Research Study
 
Collecting Data
 
Analysis
 
Writing up
 
PART TWO: IPA RESEARCH
 
Health and Illness
 
Sex and Sexuality
 
Psychological Distress
 
Life Transitions and Identity
 
PART THREE: CURRENT ISSUES FOR IPA
 
Assessing Validity
 
The Relationship between IPA and Other Approaches
 
Conclusion and Reflections on Future Developments

'I have been using this book since it was published - recommending it to undergraduate and postgraduate students both as the definitive account of the IPA approach and as an accessible introduction to experiential qualitative research more broadly. The chapters on designing an IPA study, collecting and analysing data, and writing up an IPA study in particular are excellent...This book remains an invaluable addition to the toolkit of resources for teachers and students of qualitative research, and I thoroughly recommend it to both' -
Psychology: Learning and Teaching, Volume 9, Number 1


This is a clear and informative guide to IPA which is particularly relevant to researchers completing a professional doctorate using IPA methodology.

Dr Will Shield
Graduate School of Education, Exeter University
June 13, 2019

Really easy to understand as an intro to phenomenology and gives great guidance on the process required.

Mr Dean McShane
Health & Social Care (Warrington), Chester University
May 17, 2019

An excellent, clear and authoritative introduction to IPA.

Dr Louise Campbell
School of Education & Social Work, Dundee University
May 7, 2019

A useful book for research skills in qualitative analysis.

Linda Homan
Faculty Of Health And Social Care, Anglia Ruskin University
March 6, 2019

an excellent informative book for both novice and experienced researchers

Mrs erica clough
School of Health and Social Care, Teesside University
November 27, 2018

I highly recommend this book! This text clearly and concisely details the IPA process and is particularly useful for complete beginners as well as experienced researchers.

Miss Syreeta Charles-Cole
School of Education, Theology & Leadership, St Mary's University, Twickenham
June 30, 2018

Excellent research method and book . Clearly written and can help you through a method that is often hard to understand. Used for my own research at Phd level and students degree level

Ms Carol Lloyd
Childhood Studies and Psychology co (Bishop Otter), Chichester University
September 10, 2017

Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis provides a thought provoking and accessible resource for any student or practitioner who wants to engage with this stimulating method of analysis.

Dr David Matthews
Institure of Health and Wellbeing, Coleg Llandrillo
April 15, 2017

This is an excellent text for introducing students to IPA. The use of real examples throughout helps to support teaching of this method to students. Particularly useful for teaching advanced qualitative methods.

Dr Janine Coates
School of Sport & Exercise Sciences, Loughborough University
October 24, 2016

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter One

Chapter Seven


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Jonathan A. Smith

Jonathan A. Smith is Professor of Psychology at Birkbeck University of London, UK where he leads the interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) research group. He has written many articles applying IPA to a range of areas in health, clinical and social psychology. He is co- author (with Paul Flowers and Michael Larkin) of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis: Theory, Method and Research (Sage, 2009). He also has a wider interest in qualitative psychology generally and has co-edited a number of books in the area. More About Author

Paul Flowers

Michael Larkin

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