Presentation on theme: "Tone Sævi The methodological role of anecdotes in data generation and analysis of essential meanings in hermeneutic phenomenology March, 2006."— Presentation transcript:
Tone Sævi The methodological role of anecdotes in data generation and analysis of essential meanings in hermeneutic phenomenology March, 2006
Tone Sævi Introduction Practitioners from The Utrecht School (in the 1950’s, 60’s and 70’s) published research texts based on anecdotal material, where they directed attention to the lived world as children and young persons experienced it But they did not methodologically substantiate the meaning of the anecdotes and how the anecdote developed from the oral/existential to the textual shape Even today, few has explicitly written of the methodology of the anecdote in hermeneutic phenomenology. Van Manen is the exception (f.ex. van Manen 1989, 1997, 2001). Anecdotal material as the main device in hermeneutic phenomenology, is frequently displayed in classic experiential literature. However, the methodological quandaries related are usually less issued (f.ex Marcel 1950, Merleau-Ponty 1945/2002, Bollnow 1968, Levinas 1979/2002).
Tone Sævi Aim and foci Aim: To highten the awareness of the anecdote as methodological device in hermeneutic phenomenology Foci: 1. The anecdote - what, how, why? 2. What are basic aspects of the epistemology of understanding? 3. How do we distinguish essential from incidental meaning in herm.phenomenology? 4. How is the telling of the anecdote to be told?
Tone Sævi What is an anecdote? Etymologically the anecdote is defined as a secret history, a story of detached incident, things hitherto unpublished (Onions 1966: 36). The anecdote is a short story with a punch, intended to make comprehensible notions that easily eludes us The anecdote has a fictional character in that it possesses some of the qualities that we connect to fictional literature, f.ex. its compelling and transforming nature
Tone Sævi How is the anecdote ’constructed’? Data generation in herm.phen. serves two methodological purposes: - to explore the meaning dimension of the phenomenon - to provide narrative examples (anecdotes) for reflective writing The lived experience – the lived experience description – the anecdote – analyses: cultivation of thought – reflection – re- reflection, cultivation of thought, reflection …. ’The anecdote is ’constructed’ in a way that at the same time creates in the reader a reflexive re-living and a reflective appropriation of something meaningful The point of the anecdote needs ’honing’ to speak what it says
Tone Sævi Why anecdotes? Why translate lived experience descriptions and interviews to anecdotes? Why not let the quotes speak for themselves? The anecdote unites the what and the how, the statement and the expression
Tone Sævi What is a home? ‘ Home is the place, when you have to go there, they have to take you in. I should have called it something you somehow haven’t to deserve.’ Robert Frost (1915). From: Death of the Hired Man. (poem). In: North of Boston. New York: Henry Holt and Company. 2nd. ed.
Tone Sævi A possible interpretation of experiential themes/meanings of what a home is may suggestively include: Home is situated somewhere (‘Home is a place’) I exist in relation to my home (‘When you have to go there’) There are certain ‘rights’ related to having a home (‘They have to take you in’) Being away from home is possible because I am at- home somewhere (‘Home […] when you have to go there’) Home is given to me in a certain understanding (‘Something you haven’t to deserve’)
Tone Sævi Anecdotes are experiential examples of the phenomenon that help us sense the world that represent iconically by referring back to what made them possible in the first place that let us experience existence by letting the moment linger
Tone Sævi Anecdotes are ’autonomous ’ Orient understanding and speak particularly of being Stand in a conversational tension to writer and reader Allow the writer/reader to respond to inner, sensed meaning Particularize possible meanings related to the phenomenon Answer some of the questions that the text poses Have a lasting quality
Tone Sævi ’Behind nothing is everything’ The anecdote in interplay with the reflective modes of reduction It starts with wonder (the heuristic reduction) Practices critical self-awareness (the hermeneutic reduction) Aims at concreteness and nearness to lived meaning (the phenomenological reduction) Keeps in tension the phenomenon and related phenomena (the eidetic reduction) Brackets all methods and invent the appropriate method for this inquiry (the methodological reduction) Relates the researcher to Other and self and radicalizes the question (the ontological reduction)
Tone Sævi What are basic aspects of the epistemology of understanding?
Tone Sævi The interpretive understanding Etym. interpretation means ’mediating between two parties’ What kind of knowledge is appropriate for pedagogical ’being and becoming’? An understanding kind of knowledge that is interpretive, embodied, spiritual and related to our being A knowledge that facilitates questions of being rather than of having
Tone Sævi Basic epistemological aspects of hermeneutic phenomenology The interpreter is in relation to the interpreted Interpretation is an existential understanding Interpretation reveals difference and renders possible occurrence of truth
Tone Sævi How do we distinguish essential from incidental meaning in hermeneutic phenomenology?
Tone Sævi Interpretation of meaning Essential meanings of a phenomenon can be searched in the structures displayed in the lived experience of this phenomenon The meaning of phenomenological description as a method lies in interpretation (Heidegger 1926/1962: 37). Interpretation is pointing to and pointing out the meaning of something (Gadamer 1986).
Tone Sævi ’That by which a thing is what it is’ Etym. essence means ’the inner nature or the true being of a thing’ Which are the essential qualities of a phenomenon, and which are not? How do I know? Can I know? The human being as the ’dative of manifestation’ (Sokolowski 2000:42). ’The free act of seeing meaning’ (van Manen 1997: 79) in the place-in-between the interpreter and that, which is interpreted
Tone Sævi ’Seeing meaning’ includes: ’Fixing’ textually the themes in a systematic, open, inventive, personal mode No methodological ’safety net’ of techniques or analysing tools Method subordinates to human experience and radical reflection
Tone Sævi How is the telling of the anecdote to be told?
Tone Sævi The anecdote speaks to our lived experience by looking beyond by letting us see the ’whatness’ of the phenomenon by speaking with a punctum by offering cognitive and expressive meaning by addressing me personally
Tone Sævi According to Heidegger, one should ask: ”What can phenomenology do with me (or you), rather than what can I use this knowledge for.”