Crafting Phenomenological Research Chapter 1 Annotation

The following are my notes from reading chapter one, What’s the Phenomenon in Phenomenology?, of Vagle’s book Crafting Phenomenological Research.

This quote provides an excellent explanation of phenomenology: “The primary purpose of phenomenology as a research methodology steaming from its philosophical roots is to study what it is like as we find-ourselves-being-in-relation-with-others” (teacher to student) “or other things” (a good book) (p. 20).

Comment – The following quote apply describes the sense I had of phenomenology is when I began reading about it as a methodology:
Phenomenologists “are not primarily interested in what humans decide, but rather in how they experience their decision-making” (p. 21)

Phenomenologists are not interested in quantitative methods, the objective world or how people construct things (p. 22)

Phenomenologists study the lifeworld as it is lived and studies how a “phenomenon manifests and appears in the lifeworld” and an individuals’ “being, becoming, and moving through the lifeworld” (p. 23)

Comment – This is beyond qualitative methods that focus on explaining people or people’s interactions with a phenomenon.

Comment – Phenomenology, therefore, cannot be used in mixed methods studies.

Question – If western culture follows Cartesian philosophy of mind-world (it’s all in your head), the how acceptable is phenomenology as a research methodology? Conversely, do phenomenologists reject results from non-phenomenological studies?

Vegle suggest watching movies to practice phenomenology

Important quote:

When we study something phenomenologically, we are not trying to get inside other people’s minds. Rather we are trying to contemplate and theorize the various ways things manifest and appear in and through our being in the world (p. 22).

Takeaways from Chapter One
When interviewing, the focus is not on the individual, but on how she perceives the phenomenon

The perception is fluid and follow-up interviews will reveal differences as the individual continues to experience the phenomenon.

Added Knowledge
The mind-world dualism is new to me
I was unaware that quantitative methods are unimportant to phenomenologists

Questions that Remain
Is it possible to conduct a phenomenological study with only minimal knowledge of the philosophy, particularly phenomenology philosophy?

Vagel, M. D. (2014). What is a phenomenon in phenomenology?. In M. D. Vagel (author) Crafting phenomenological research (p. 20-26). London: Routledge

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