The Approach of the Human Science Researcher: Implications for the Practice of Qualitative Research

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The term, approach, introduced by Giorgi characterizes the indelible relationship between researcher presuppositions and research results. Understood in terms of Heidegger's concept of Dasein, approach includes implicit dimensions unavailable to the conscious awareness of the engaged researcher. The researcher's stance, however, can be explicated in the same way that implicit aspects of subjects' experiences are interpreted through qualitative research methods. The present article reviews the development of empirical phenomenological research methods, and advocates procedures that explicate those aspects of approach that are imbedded in interpretive research results. Procedures termed (a) acknowledgment of a priori assumptions, (b) researcher reflection, and (c) explication of implicit assumptions are described, and the compatibility of these procedures with the goals of human science research is discussed. It is argued that these procedures allow for fuller explication of the interconnectedness of method, content, and research approach.

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