“Yes It Is Phenomenological”: A Reply to Max Van Manen’s Critique of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis

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Abstract

In this article, I present a rebuttal of Max Van Manen’s critique of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). Unfortunately, Van Manen’s piece contains a series of misrepresentations of IPA and its history. Here, I answer these misrepresentations and present IPA as subscribing, and contributing, to a broad and holistic phenomenology concerned with both prereflective and reflective domains of lived experience. I contend that IPA has much to offer to our understanding of the experience of health and illness, where participants are spontaneously and actively engaged in making sense of the significant and unexpected things that happen to them.

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