Crafting Phenomenological Research: How Phenomena Can Take Shape in Various Contexts

Phenomenology is a way for qualitative researchers to look at what we usually look through. It means being profoundly present in our research encounters, to leave no stone unturned, to slow down in order to open up, to dwell with our surroundings, and to know that there is “never nothing going on.” Because the philosophical ideas that underpin phenomenology can be abstract and sometimes elusive, this course will communicate these topics as concretely as possible. That is, the course will provide techniques, tools, and strategies for carrying out phenomenological research. We will use examples, anecdotes, and exercises to work through and navigate the craft.

To learn about phenomenological research approaches, we will experience a series of data collection tools and strategies such as going on “phenomenology walks,” writing about lived experiences, and interviewing one another. We will explore Vagle’s “three considerations” methodological process for conducting post-intentional phenomenological research—working to make sense of how our phenomena might take shape in various contexts:

  • Identifying the Phenomenon and the Phenomenological Material (i.e., data) to Collect and Analyze;
  • Discerning, Deciding, and Thinking with Theoretical Concepts; and
  • Post-Reflexing by Trying to “See what Frames your Seeing” of the Phenomenon

Finally, we will explore conventional and less-conventional ways to write up our research.

A wide variety of methodological and philosophical texts and examples of phenomenological studies will be shared and discussed. The course is based on 2nd (2018) and 3rd (forthcoming 2023) editions of Vagle’s book by the same name, Crafting Phenomenological Research.