Theory Comparison Dissertation or Thesis complete

Excerpt from Dissertation or Thesis complete :


Phenomenology and Hermeneutics

Aside from positivism or quantitative research paradigm, two other paradigms are considered essential in the conduct of research or simply, knowing and understanding a particular event or phenomenon using a particular 'lens'or paradigm / perspective. These two (2) paradigms are qualitative in nature, namely the interpretive and critical paradigms. Critical paradigm is closely associated with the Marxist, feminist, and psychoanalytic schools of thought, while interpretive or symbolic interactionism paradigm is linked with hermeneutics and phenomenology. The focus of the discussions that follow will be on this second paradigm, interpretive paradigm, particularly exploring the hermeneutic and phenomenological schools of thought (Fossey, 2002, p. 719).

In order to understand these schools of thought, it is important to also understand the tradition from which these ideas emerged. Under the interpretive paradigm, truth is
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considered subjective and variable. In truth-seeking, the researcher recognizes that there are many "truths," and these "truths" are dependent on the experiences of people, how each individual interprets or realizes an event or phenomenon. Thus, interpretive approaches to research focus more on identifying and exhausting all extant social meanings and dimensions to have a 'good grasp' or understanding of the event/phenomenon under study. In effect, the interpretive paradigm does not seek to generalize (as positivist paradigm does) nor does it seek to contextualize the truth based on one perspective or worldview only (a characteristic of critical paradigm, wherein the 'social is political).

Phenomenology and hermeneutics are the commonly used approaches to truth-seeking in the interpretive paradigm. Phenomenology is defined as the "study of lived experience or the life world," and creates social meanings primarily through experiences -- firsthand, reported, or shared. Hermeneutics subscribes to the…

Sources Used in Documents:


Fossey, E., C. Harvey, F. McDermott, and L. Davidson. (2002). "Understanding and evaluating qualitative research." Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol. 36.

Laverty, S. (2003). "Hermeneutic phenomenology and phenomenology: a comparison of historical and methodological considerations." International Journal of Qualitative Methods, Vol. 2(3).

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