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EDM6402 Qualitative Methods of Educational Research L ecture 2 The Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Meanings: Approaches to Qualitative Research. In Search of the Meaning of Meanings in Educational Research. Phenomenology of meaning Hermeneutics of meaning.
EDM6402Qualitative Methods of Educational ResearchLecture 2The Phenomenology and Hermeneutics of Meanings:Approaches to Qualitative Research
“Every experience can be subject to …reflection, as can indeed every manner in which we occupy ourselves with any real or ideal objects — for instance, thinking, or in the modes of feeling and will, valuing and striving. So when we are fully engaged in conscious activity, we focus exclusively on the specific things, thoughts, values, goals or means involved, but not on the psychical experience as such, in which these things are known as such. Only reflection reveals this to us. Through reflection, instead of grasping simply the matter straight-out — the values, goals, and instrumentalities — we grasp the corresponding subjective experience in which we become ‘conscious’ of them, in which (in the broadest sense) they ‘appear’. For this reason, they are called ‘phenomena’, and their most general essential character is to exist as the “consciousness-of’ of ‘appearance-of’ the specific things, thoughts, … plans, decisions, hopes, and so forth.” (Husserl, 1927; quoted from Smith, Flowers & Larkin, 2009, p. 12)
Husserl has given a precise description of the constituting process of this intentional unity of duration by differentiating it into (Schutz, 1967, p.47-49)
Husserl makes a distinction between two types of experiences “Experience of the first type are merely ‘undergone’ or ‘suffer’.’ They are characterized by a basic passivity. Experiences of the second type consist of attitudes taken toward experiences of the first type.” Husserl characterized those experiences endowed with ‘attitude-taking Act’ as ‘behavior’. Accordingly, “Behavior is a meaning-endowing experience of consciousness.” (Schutz, 1967, p. 56)
According to Schutz and Husserl, we can further distinguish behavior from action. The former are experiences endowed with attitudes, while the latter are experiences oriented towards the future. Most specifically, actions are experiences endowed with anticipation, which Husserl has characterized as “the meaning of what will be perceived.” (Husserl, 1931, quoted in Schutz, 1967, p. 58)
Built upon his understanding of Husserl’s phenomenology, Schutz begins his own construction of The Phenomenology of Social World with the following definition of meaning
“Meaning is a certain way of directing one’s gaze at an item of one’s experience. This item is thus ‘selected out’ and rendered discrete by a reflexive Act. Meaning indicates, therefore, a peculiar attitude on the part of Ego toward the flow of its own duration.” (Schutz, 1967, p. 42)
By relating the conceptual apparatus derived from phenomenological philosophy and Max Weber’s conception of interpretive sociology, Schutz defines the concept of action as follows
“Now we are in a position to state that what distinguishes action from behavior is that action is the execution of a projected act. And we can immediately proceed to our next step: the meaning of any action is its corresponding projected act. In saying this we are giving clarity to Max Weber’s vague concept of the ‘orientation of an action’. An action, we submit, is oriented toward its corresponding projected act.” (Schutz, 1967, p. 61)
“Let us define meaning-context formally: We say that our lived experience E1, E2, …, En, stand in a meaning-context if and only if, once they have been lived through in separate steps, they are then constituted into a synthesis of a high order, becoming thereby unified objects of monothetic attention.” (Schutz, 1967, p.75)
DuréePhenomenological conceptual framework of meaning
Anticipation & fulfillment
of unity and continuity
Reproduction, Retention, Perception
of unity and continuity
Stream of consciousness
In constructing a sign, the actor undertakes the act of signification, that is, to assign a sign to an object in the external world.
As on the part of the reader of the sign, she has to undertake an act of interpretation, which has been defined as the core activities that qualitative researchers have to undertake.
Spoken and written signs in a language are the exemplary representations of sign used by human kind.
(To be explicated in details in Lecture 5)
(To be explicated in details in Lecture 4)
(To be explicated in Lecture 6)
(To be explicate in Lecture 6)
Institutional context of the predecessors
Fusion of horizons
Institutional context of the contemporaries
Scholars of the theoretical traditions of the critical theory and phenomenological psychology have made references to on the philosophy of Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty and have further refined the conceptual components of the phenomenology of social meanings.
(To be explicated in Lecture 7)
“Interpretation … is an attempt to make clear, to make sense of an object of study. This object must, therefore, be a text, or a text-analogue, which in some way is confused, incomplete, cloudy, seemingly contradictory in one way or another unclear. The interpretation aims to bring to light an underlying coherence or sense. …The object of a science of interpretation must thus have (a) sense (coherence and meaning) , distinguishable from its (b) expression, which is for or by (c) a subject.” (Taylor, 1994, p.181-182)
“When we speak of the ‘meaning’ of a given predicament, we are using a concept which has the following articulation:
In relation to
In relation to
As systems of meanings of a society have been routinized into patterned and regular ways of doing things and ways of life, social institutions emerge. In other words, social institutions are one of the essential parts of the socially constructed reality of human kind. They are the embodiments and expressions of the fundamental meanings and values of a given society.