Innovating the Craft of Phenomenological Research Methods Through Mindfulness

Article


Nicholls, Claire D.. 2019. "Innovating the Craft of Phenomenological Research Methods Through Mindfulness." Methodological Innovations. https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119840977
Article Title

Innovating the Craft of Phenomenological Research Methods Through Mindfulness

Article CategoryArticle
Authors
AuthorNicholls, Claire D.
Journal TitleMethodological Innovations
Number of Pages13
Year2019
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/2059799119840977
Web Address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/2059799119840977
Abstract

To conduct qualitative social research requires not only a declarative knowledge of the research methods and methodology, but also a set of honed practical, applied skills. For beginning researchers, particularly those undertaking phenomenological research, the skills of bracketing, the phenomenological reductions and having an awareness of one’s positionality or relationship to their chosen research methods, participants and contexts is of significant importance. More generally, these skills are also required in other qualitative research disciplines under the guise of reflexivity or critical reflective practice. Regardless, these are notoriously slippery and require more than prior reading to translate from theory and philosophy into practice. There is literature which also identifies and highlights the disparity between theory, skill development and practice; however, these practicalities of how one can bracket or bridle and undertake reductions require further elaboration and guidance for how researchers can develop these applied skills of research. In this article, I propose and demonstrate that the therapeutic tradition of mindfulness as specifically practised in dialectical behaviour therapy can be used to de-mystify the practices of reflexivity and work specifically within the tradition of phenomenological reduction and bracketing. I also assert that this innovation can provide a practical tool to craft qualitative and phenomenological research and make achievable the original philosophical ideas which underpin phenomenological research. I begin by focusing on the theory of bracketing and reduction from the philosophic tradition of phenomenology as a framework for research methodology and methods, and then introduce the practical skill of mindfulness as prescribed in dialectical behaviour therapy as an innovation which can assist the researcher in developing these skills. I finish by illustrating the usefulness of mindfulness in undertaking phenomenological research drawing on examples from a current research project.

Keywordsresearcher reflexivity; skills for phenomenological research; mindfulness; phenomenological reduction as praxis; skills of dialectical behaviour therapy in qualitative research; orchestra music listening
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020500310. Phenomenology
Byline AffiliationsMonash University
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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