Phenomenology and Grounded Theory

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Phenomenology and Grounded Theory. For me to innovate is to make research profitable" | Opinno.

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Intended Learning outcomes. After this lecture, you will be able to: Understand the meaning of phenomenological research. Describe the key tenets of phenomenological research. Formulate a research questions that suit phenomenological research. Identify strengths and weaknesses of phenomenological approach. Understand the meaning of Grounded Theory (GT) research. Describe the key element, uses and steps of GT research..

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Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.—Douglas Adams.

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Phenomenology “The lived Experience”. The term phenomenology comes from Greek Phainomenon (appearance, manifestation) and logos (the science of). Phenomenology refers to reasoned inquiry into the nature of appearances . Phenomenology can be defined as an approach to research that seeks to describe the essence of a phenomenon by exploring it from the perspective of those who have experienced it Edmund Husserl (1859- 1938), the German Mathematician, is the founder of the phenomenological movement (the father of phenomenology). Moustakas is a major name in phenomenology today..

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Phenomenology. Phenomenology concerns/ helps researchers to apprehend lived experience within a specific group (for example: experience of illness, such as clinically inflicted pain). Interested in the everyday way in which people make sense of their “being” in the world. Each person has a unique view of the world, and a particular social reality which is as true as anybody else’s reality. The type of problem best suited for phenomenology is one in which it is important to understand several individuals' common or shared experiences of a phenomenon..

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Phenomenology “The Lived Experience”(continued). At the core of phenomenology lies the attempt to describe and understand phenomena as experienced by individuals who have lived through them..

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Goal of Phenomenology. To describe the meaning of experience—both in terms of What was experienced? and How it was experienced? By examining an experience as it is subjectively lived, new meanings and appreciations can be developed to inform, or even re-orient, how we understand that experience. The goal is to produce a brief statement that succinctly evokes the phenomenon.

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Phenomenology (another definition). According to Creswell (2007), a phenomenological study describes the meaning for several individuals of their lived experiences of a concept or a phenomenon ..

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Phenomenology (another definition). Phenomenology is the search for the “essence of things” that cannot be revealed by ordinary observation (Sanders, 1982; Moustakas, 1994)..

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Meaning of essence. An essence could be understood as a structure of essential meanings that explicates a phenomenon of interest. The essence or structure is what makes the phenomenon to be that very phenomenon..

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Assumptions. Phenomenologists assume that human experience is inherently subjective Within these subjective experiences are essential structures that characterize the experience The way to gain access to these structures is through description of experiences.

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Research Questions. What is the essential meaning of an experience? What does this experience mean? How does the lived world present itself to the participant or to me as the researcher? For example: What is the essence of being a mother? What is the essential structure of a caring nurse-client interaction ? What is it like to be bored? What is it like to experience a heart transplant? What is it like to experience empathy? What is it like to experience pain?.

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Role of Researcher. Researcher’s own experiences with a phenomenon are included as a part of the study. Since the essence is universal, meaning must be true for researcher as well as participants.

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Fields often use phenomenology. Social sciences Health sciences Psychology Nursing Education Phenomenology is well-suited to studying research questions involving affective, emotional, and often intense human experience ..

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Two very different branches. 1. Descriptive (Transcendental) phenomenology - Focus less on researchers interpretation and more on describing experiences of participants. 2. Interpretive (Hermeneutical) phenomenology - Reflecting on lived experiences with interpretation by the researcher..

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Descriptive Phenomenology. The goal of the researcher is to achieve Transcendental Subjectivity . Transcendental subjectivity means that the impact of the researcher on the inquiry is constantly assessed and biases and preconceptions neutralized, so that they do not influence the object of study. The process is transcendental because the researcher sees the phenomenon newly, as for the first time. More simply: It is an attempt to approach a lived experience with a sense of “newness” to elicit rich and descriptive data. The researcher is to stand apart, and not allow his/her subjectivity to inform the descriptions offered by the participants. The concept of bracketing: Researchers setting aside their pre-understanding and acting non-judgementally (Epoche).

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Bracketing. A methodological device of phenomenological inquiry that requires deliberate putting aside one’s own belief about the phenomenon under investigation or what one already knows about the subject prior to and throughout the phenomenological investigation to better examine the consciousness itself. - For instance, a study could be designed to have multiple researchers triangulate their reductions (researchers triangulation) to confirm appropriate bracketing was maintained. - Alternatively, a study could involve validation of data via member checking (participant validation) to ensure that the identified essences resonated with the participants’ experiences.

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Interpretive (hermeneutic ) Phenomenology. The word hermeneutic is derived from the name Hermes, a Greek god who was responsible for making clear, or interpreting, messages between gods (Thompson, 1990). In interpretive phenomenological approach, it is acknowledged that pre-understanding cannot be eliminated or “bracketed”. Researchers can interpret a phenomenon only through their own experiences. The present can be understood only through the past, and the past can be understood only through the present..

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Interpretive Phenomenology (continued). Another term, being-in-the-world , was used by Heidegger to emphasize that humans cannot abstract themselves from the world. Therefore, it is not the pure content of human subjectivity that is the focus of a hermeneutic inquiry but, rather, what the individual’s narratives imply about what he or she experiences every day..

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Diagram Description automatically generated. December 2021.

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Phenomenology Example. Ouelette , Achille & Paquet, 2009 ( Article title: The Experience of Kidney Graft Failure: Patients’ Perspectives). “How do patients experience kidney graft failure” Develop a comprehensive description of the way individuals constructed meaning out of this experience. Analysis of data identified five themes which the authors then compared to an existing theoretical framework about psychosocial transition.

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Design characteristics in Phenomenology. - Purposive samples of 5-25 usually going for saturation. -The individuals must have experienced the phenomenon. - The more diverse the people, the harder it is to find common experiences. - Data collection is by interview of the groups or individual that are verbatim, taped, and field notes . - Data collection is directly tied to analysis, that eventually is coded or structured into themes..

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The Procedures of Phenomenological Inquiry. December 2021.

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Phenomenological Data Collection. Interview -In depth interview Participation observation Conversation Action research Focus Meeting Analysis of Personal Texts (Diary Writing).

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Interviews in Phenomenology. Interview is by far the most dominant method for data collection in phenomenological research. Seidman’s (2006) required three interviews per person, wherein the first is a focused life history that provides context, followed by an interview aimed to reconstruct the experience with its relationships and structures, and finally an interview that allowed the respondent to reflect on the meaning of his or her experience. A phenomenological researcher is free to structure his or her interview in a way that enables a thorough investigation..

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Phenomenological interview. Phenomenological interview must contain three main domains: contextualization (natural attitude and lifeworld). 2. apprehending the phenomenon (modes of appearing, natural attitude). 3. clarifying the phenomenon (imaginative variation and meaning)..

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Phenomenological interview Source: (Bevan, 2014).

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Data Analysis in Phenomenology. Horizontalization - Laying out all the data to examine it as equals. Highlight significant statements that provide understanding of participants’ experiences. Organise the data into clusters and themes. Phenomenological Reduction - Process of continually returning to the essence of the experience to derive inner meaning..

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Strengths. Help to give a better understanding of the real-life situation and experiences Good at surfacing deep issues and making voices heard, helps individuals to connect to the phenomenon and possibly group. Has the ability to query and probe in-depth issue of a phenomenon Findings are allowed to emerge rather than being imposed by investigator.

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Challenges of Phenomenology. Bracketing personal experiences may be difficult for the researcher to implement ( the researcher to become separated from the text). The participants in the study need to be carefully chosen to be individuals who have all experienced the phenomenon in question ..

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The product of a phenomenological study is a “ composite description that presents the ‘ essence ’ of the phenomenon, called the essential, invariant structure (or essence) ” ( Cresswell , 2007, p. 62, emphasis in original). This description represents the structure of the experience being studied. “ The reader should come away from the phenomenology with the feeling, ‘ I understand better what it is like for someone to experience that ’ ( Polkinghorn , 1989, p. 46) ” ( Cresswell , 2007, p. 62)..

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Example. December 2021. 32.

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Questions. What is phenomenology? What are the two types of phenomenology? What is the research tool that is mainly used in phenomenology? What is the meaning of the term “ Horizontalization”?.

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Grounded Theory (GT). Barney G. Glaser and Anselm L. Strauss, are the creators of Grounded Theory (GT) method in their book ‘ The Discovery of the Grounded Theory: Strategies for Qualitative Research ’ in late 1960s. In their book, the term GT is used in a more sense to denote theoretical constructs derived from qualitative analysis of data. Grounded Theory is often used to describe research that does not start from some prior theoretical understanding of what is going on (process), but works inductively, or from the ground up to build a theory of what is going on (Dew, 2007). GT is a systematic (uses systematic set of procedures) qualitative research methodology in which the inquirer generates a general explanation (a theory) of a process(“What is going on here”) , action, or interaction grounded in the views of participants in the study about a topic (Creswell & Poth , 2007)..

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Definitions. Glaser and Holton: ‘a set of integrated conceptual hypotheses systematically generated to produce an inductive theory about a substantive area’ (p. 43). Strauss and Corbin: ‘theory that was derived from data, systematically gathered and analysed through the research process’ (p. 12)..

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Definitions. Charmaz: ‘a method of conducting qualitative research that focuses on creating conceptual frameworks or theories through building inductive analysis from the data’ (p. 187). Birks and Mills: ‘process by which theory is generated from the analysis of data’..

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Grounded Theory. The overarching goal of grounded theory is to develop theory. Therefore, grounded theory studies may be carried out related to research phenomena or objects, which lack a (sufficient) theoretical foundation. A key idea is that this theory-development does not come "off the shelf," but rather is generated or "grounded" in data from participants who have experienced the process ( developed theories are “grounded” in the collected data ( see limitations: GT avoids literature review). It may be, that no theory exists for the phenomena under study or that the existing theories are insufficient in that they lack important concepts; the relationships among the concepts are not elaborated enough; the relevance of the concepts and their relationships has not been corroborated for the population or the context under study. Grounded theorists not only code data for concepts (e.g., older adults recognize the importance of preventative approaches to health, most commonly mentioned being the winter flu vaccine) but also identify relationships between concepts/categories (i.e., variables) to build substantive theory (e.g., social class features as the strongest explanation of the likelihood of seeking flu vaccination in the sample)(Foley & Timonen, 2015)..

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Grounded Theory. GT is a research method that operates almost in a reverse fashion from traditional research and at first may appear to be in contradiction to the scientific method. some researchers refer to the theory generated using this method as the “reverse-engineered” hypothesis..

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Grounded Theory Design- The systematic Design. Open Coding: properties and dimensionalized properties. Axial Coding: researcher selects one open coding category and places it at the center as the Central Phenomenon and then relates all other categories to it. Selective Coding: writing a theory based on the interrelationship of the categories from axial coding.

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Categories have properties. = multiple perspectives of the category And are dimentionalized properties presented on a continuum Like colour has Properties - hue, tone, shade, intensity Dimensions - dark, light etc. are dimensions of shade. E.g. watching has frequency, duration, extent, intensity. information passing has amount of info., manner of passing etc..

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Coding in Grounded Theory Source (Cho & Lee, 2014).

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Definition of coding. Coding = Process in which data are fractured, conceptualized and reordered in a new way - Process in which « codes » are given to parts of sentences, whole sentences, paragraphs etc.

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Coding- quantitative/qualitative. The main categorizing strategy in qualitative research is coding. "This is quite different from coding in quantitative research , which consists of applying a preestablished set of categories to the data according to explicit, unambiguous rules, with the primary goal being to generate frequency counts of the items in each category." • In qualitative research , the goal of coding is not to count things, but to "fracture" (Strauss 1987, p. 29) the data and rearrange them into categories that facilitate comparison between things in the same category and that aid in the development of theoretical concepts.“ (Emphasis JS) Maxwell , Joseph A. , Qualitative research design..., 2005 , 96.

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How to give a code: ask and answer questions. Of what general category is this item of data an instance? What does this item of data represent? What is this item of data about? Of what topic is this item of data an instance? What question about a topic does this item of data suggest? What sort of answer to a question about a topic does this item of data imply? What is happening here? What are people doing? What do people say they are doing? What kind of event is going on? Bryman , Alan , Social research methods , 2004 , S. 408.

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Open coding defined. Open coding refers to the initial phase of the coding process in the grounded theory approach to qualitative research (generating theory from data). The process of open coding begins with the collection of raw data (e.g., interviews, fieldnotes, art, reports, diaries). The intent of open coding is to break down the data into segments in order to interpret them. Detailed word-by-word and line-by-line analysis is conducted by researchers asking what is going on. The researcher discovers, names, defines, and develops as many ideas and concepts..

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Open coding example-1 Interview with a woman in a study of arthritis sufferers. Taken from Strauss and Corbin (1990) Basics of Qualitative Research (1st ed.) p. 78..

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Open coding example-2. December 2021. Marc: My conversion. that's a long, a very long story. Well, I come from a church. from the family perhaps. from catholicism My parents are catholic uh. I was just a bit- I was growing up in the catholic church when I was a child. I did the catechism. I have done tirst cornrnunion, I •ve been baptised I have even been married in the catholic church. Ali- but just atter rnarrrage. uh, uh- our couple did not 00 too well we were already on the verge of divorcing so. and •wife. we did not get along and the got alid both unhappy. I unhappv and wite too. And. uh- I have to say that this is also a that did not come about just of the marriage: I have had to put up with this all of my life. Precess ling'sh•rt of conversion Religion bef«e conversic.n Catholic rt.a.rrUge Prc+k•ms in thc couple B. on thc verge of Profinmd.

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Axial coding Defined. Axial coding is a stage in grounded theory analysis after open coding, where the researcher seeks to make links and find relationships between the concepts and categories derived from open coding. Strauss and Corbin (1990): ‘The next step (axial coding) is the process of determining hypotheses about the relationships between a category and its subcategories, for example, conditions, context, action/interaction strategies and consequences’ (p. 467). ‘As our goal was not to create a whole new theory, we only used open and axial coding to identify the main categories and to make connections between categories, hereby identifying causal conditions, context, strategies and intervening conditions (Strauss and Corbin, 1990)’ (p. 34). rather than look for any and all kind of relations, grounded theorists emphasize causal relationships, an d fit things into a basic frame of generic relationships..

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Axial coding. Aims to integrate codes around the axes of central categories’; the essence of axial coding is the interconnectedness of categories. Hence codes are explored, their interrelationships are examined, and codes and categories are compared. The word ‘axial’ used by Strauss and Corbin (1998) is intended to put an axis through data. This axis connects identified categories in open coding. Axial coding puts categories back together in order to explore theoretical possibilities..

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Axial coding process. Data has been entirely coded Objective of Axial Coding involves model development Look for: Causal conditions: what influences the central phenomenon, events, incidences, happening Strategies: How do actors address the phenomenon? Context: When, where, with whom? Intervening conditions: What factors constrain strategies? Actions – How are strategies enacted? Consequences – What are the consequences?.