Crafting Phenomenological Research – Introduction Annotation

The following are my notes from reading the introduction of Vagle’s Crafting Phenomenological Research

Vagle states the book contains three core ideas:
1. “Phenomenology is an encounter” (p. 11
2. “Phenomenology is a way of living” (p. 11)
“Never, nothing going on and that we can never grasp all that is going on (p. 12). Remain open and slow down
Question – Is this similar to mindfulness or living in the now?
3. “Phenomenology is a craft” (p. 12)
We are always honing our phenomenological skills, but phenomenology evolves. It is much more than following a series of steps or procedures (p. 12)
– There are “all sorts of possible ways” to practice phenomenology (p. 14)
– Phenomenology is not a singular or unified philosophy or methodology (p. 14)
Comment – This is likely why it is confusing to researchers. Lack of unification, confusion between the philosophy and the methodology, and it’s not merely a series of steps to follow to collect and analyze data. This makes phenomenology inaccessible to some, too much work to others, and confusing to many.

Philosophical background (p. 14)
– Edmund Husserl – considered “the father of phenomenology”
– Martin Heidegger – known for creating hermeneutics from Husserl’s work
– Maurice Marleau-Ponty – Broke down mind-body dualism
– Jean-Paul Sarte – “theorized the embodied nature of phenomenology”
– Hans-Georg Gadamer – Limits of methods; use of linguistics

Methodological background (pp. 14-15)
– Max van Manen – Hermeneutics; pedagogical phenomenology
– Karin Dahlberg – Designed relative lifeworld research approach
– Amedeo Girogi – Follows Husserl’s tradition; designed descriptive research approach
– Linda Finlay – Works across the philosophies and across the methodologies

Phenomenological research has grown and evolved to what Vagel calls “post-intentional phenomenology” (p. 15)

“Different types of phenomenology have grown and changed. I think different types of phenomenology assume different things about what it is to know and be in the world/ They adhere to different philosophical and methodological commitment and serve different purposes”
(p. 15)

Comment – I’m looking forward to seeing how he delineates these

– Vagle suggests “opening ourselves up and let go” when reading the book
Comment – This reinforces his second main point that phenomenology is a way of life
Important “The paying attention, immediacy, and presence required to experience and practice never nothing going on is significant” (p. 15)

Question – How do we look at life, and phenomena, with this sense of never nothing going on without including our interpretation of the events? We see everything through our unique lenses of knowledge, experience, background, and biases.
Question – Is bracketing enough to suspend?

Takeaways from this chapter
– Except some confusion with and between the methodologies and philosophies
– Remember there is no unified philosophy or methodology
– Practice phenomenology – open up and let go
– Always be aware of never nothing going on
Question that remain
– Phenomenology is similar to mindfulness?
– What’s the difference between bracketing and letting go?
My new insights
– I can’t just do a phenomenological interview without first practicing phenomenology
– Look for new authors who have added new approaches or added to the methodological foundations

Vagel, M. D. (2014). Introduction. In M. D. Vagel (author) Crafting phenomenological research (p. 11-16). London: Routledge

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