Pulling Together Phenomenology Annotations

Over the last few weeks I posted my annotations from Vagle’s Crafting Phenomenological Research (introductionchapter 1, and chapter 2), with last week’s post about the highlights and insights from the first three chapters. These postings illustrate my method of annotating a book, which is much different from annotating a journal article.

The first section of the book was only 42 pages, which is quite small compared to other textbooks. Normally, I write the highlights and insights after each chapter because they usually contain much more information. The highlights and insights are important to how I write because collectively they provide me with enough information to create the narrative for a section I’m about to write.

The insights, along with questions that remain unanswered, are sometimes added to my papers. For example, the phrase “never-nothing-going-on” is an excellent phrase that will make its way into my dissertation’s methodology section. I feel it accurately describes the optimum mental approach to conducting interviews.

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Crafting Phenomenological Research Section 1 Highlights and Insights

The first three chapters of the book provide background information of the philosophical underpinning of phenomenology. After reading these the first 42 pages of the book, I maintain my concerns about phenomenological philosophy and research methodologies using words and phrases, such an “intentionality,” that are inaccurate outside of philosophy. This reinforces the barrier to using this research methodology against scholars who are not versed in philosophy.

The phrase never-nothing-going-on forces and focuses attention on the present, but I see issues with attempting to understand “nothing” because of my suppositions. I cannot live a bracketed life. But “opening ourselves up” to a new is possible. “Letting go” will be difficult because a critique of something new is based on experience and suppositions. This may be achievable when conducting interviews, but suspending suppositions 24/7 is, to me, an impossible feat.

I believe research has many different processes and rules, but I am somewhat uncomfortable with wading through phenomenology research methodology readings searching for processes just to discover the ambiguity of the research methodology.

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Crafting Phenomenological Research Chapter 2 Annotation

The following are my notes from Vagle’s book Crafting Phenomenological Research book. This is from chapter two, What is Intentionality and Why is it Important?

Intentionality – inseparable connectedness between subjects and objects. It is how we are meaningfully connected to the world
Subjects – Humans
Objects – All other things that may be studied, such as things and ideas
Essence – “There is an essential structure to a phenomenon and the intentional relations [interconnectedness] that characterize the phenomenon” (p. 29)
Post-intentional phenomenology – “Intentional relationships that tie participants, the research, the produced test and their positionalities together” (p. 30)

Phenomenologist study the phenomenon and the intentional relations that manifest and appear (p. 27)

Western culture is confused with the word “intentionality” because it means “purpose” and “intent”

Comment – This is the first time I’ve read that philosophy “borrows” a word and changes the meaning. Perhaps non-philosophers would be more open to using this research methodology if the correct words, such as interconnectedness instead of intentionality, were used Continue reading

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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)

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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. Continue reading

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