Hermeneutic phenomenologists propose that researchers inescapably bring themselves into their research because interpretation must inevitably be influenced by their contexts and pre-understandings. They propose that interpretation is a dynamic and active part of the construction of a text’s meaning, and involvement in this construction process leads to deep empathic understanding of others’ experience, reappraisal of accepted social and cultural systems, and a level of self-enlightenment. The strengths of the hermeneutic methodological approach have led to its use in a number of disciplines, however, there remains concerns about interpretative validity. It is widely acknowledged that in order to support rigour and validity in hermeneutic studies, researchers are required to develop and integrate strategies within the research process to promote awareness of the interplay between their pre-understandings and interpretation. This paper discusses how episodic interviewing which capitalises on ‘shared intelligibility’, and the reflexive strategies of ‘oppositional arrangement of perspectives’ and ‘backgrounding’ were used to shed light on data from a study of the experiences and views of nursing home nurses regarding their occupational role and status, and work identity.
|International Journal of Social Research Methodology
|Early online date
|23 Mar 2018
|Published - 24 Mar 2018