This study examined the experiences and perceived benefits of support group participation among HIV-infected women in South Africa. From a qualitative analysis of responses, key psychological processes through which support groups are potentially beneficial were identified. These processes included: identification; modeling; acceptance; and empowerment. The participants' consequent life changes were explored in order to associate these processes with the positive outcomes of support group participation. Through understanding the relationship between the psychological processes within a support group setting and the potential benefits, and by targeting these processes in the development and implementation of future support group interventions, a framework is provided for achieving positive outcomes associated with support group participation.
A whole family of qualitative methods is informed by phenomenological philosophy. When applying these methods, the material is analyzed using concepts from this philosophy to interrogate the findings and to enable greater theoretical analysis. However, the phenomenological approach represents different approaches, from pure description to those more informed by interpretation. Phenomenological philosophy developed from a discipline focusing on thorough descriptions, and only descriptions, toward a greater emphasis on interpretation being inherent in experience. An analogous development toward a broader acknowledgment of the need for interpretation, the influence of the relationship and the researcher, and the co-construction of the narrative is mirrored in qualitative analytic theory and the description of newer analytic methods as, for example, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis and Critical Narrative Analysis, methods which are theoretically founded in phenomenology. This methodological development and the inevitable contribution of interpretation are illustrated by a case from my own research about psychological interventions and the process of understanding in general practice.
This paper explores the use made of descriptions of embodiment and embodied activity in a collection of articles, which include case histories in different therapeutic traditions. As a context, the paper draws on three interests of ethnomethodology: how description is constructed; what competent ordinary members (of society) understand as elicited form accounts; and how work practice can be articulated. Primarily using introductory sections of accounts about cases in a spread of therapeutic traditions, the paper analyses how ordinary commonplace accouts of embodiment may offer initial clues as to the 'state' of the client, present a picture of the problem, or be used as relevant biographical data. A key feature of the analysis is to show that these embodied accounts, using ordinary lay language, do important work in establishing problems as 'in and part of the world', but are also an appropriate supplement to thereapeutic accounts.
This paper explores the aim, structure and language use of the deconstructive critique of developmental psychology as a specific methodology, i.e. a specific practice of critique. The analysis focuses on the past work of a group of authors captured under the term “critical psychology of development” (e.g., Morss 1996; Walkerdine 1988; Bradley 1989). The aim is to examine why this valuable critique has apparently failed to effectively engage or unsettle the developmental mainstream. Exploring the efficacy of language use within this critique, it is argued that the “language of deconstruction” inadvertently engenders a semiotic of accusation, that is, a self-perpetuating structure of bizarre anti-theses and accusations. Inspired by the work of Deleuze, Stengers, and Latour the paper aims to disentangle the counter-effective use of language from the relevant critique, in order to revive the critique and illustrate its relevance to practice. The analysis is developed alongside a case example from the author's past experience training as a psychological expert assessing child witnesses for courts in Germany. While examining the issues surrounding psychological knowledge used in legal practice, the analysis reflects on the dilemmas of being an expert practitioner, and a researcher with a background in discursive critical psychology trying to theorise psychological and legal practices critically. Highlighting the inherent volatility of practice operations, it is argued that practice itself could be seen as the interface, or relay, through which critical theorising becomes effective, by operating directly upon or alongside practitioners' already existing awareness of the paradoxes and instabilities of their practice. Engaging directly with such epistemologies of practice could open up wider perspectives toward critical methodologies for social change.
The widely presumed links between laughter and humour have raised questions about their roles in psychotherapeutic interactions. This study uses conversation analysis to explore client-initiated laughter and different kinds of responses to it. By examining sequences leading up to and following client laughter, we show two distinctive therapeutic actions that are accomplished. When particular lines of therapeutic questioning are being pursued, silence following client laughter functions to prompt further client talk. Client laughter can also build rapport by providing an opportunity for therapists to display that they also find something laughable. Both identified actions support important therapeutic work.
This qualitative research explored parents’ perspectives of parenting a child with AD/HD-Combined subtype (CT) who was unmedicated. Sixteen parents were interviewed twice and two parents were interviewed once. Data were analysed using grounded theory methods. Findings indicated that parents’ perspectives were primarily concerned with trying to control their child’s difficult behaviours. The substantive theory of Gaining Control that emerged explains the processes that parents used to try to control these behaviours. Two parental controlling/coping pathways were identified. An emotional pathway was associated with negative parental behaviours, poor outcomes, and high distress. The cognitive pathway was associated with surprisingly positive outcomes and low levels of distress. Important outcomes identified included achieving a positive cooperative relationship and highly elevated volitional performance. Processes and subprocesses are described and explained in detail. These findings may have significant clinical and educational implications for enhancing outcomes for the parents and their child.
This contribution reports a narrative analysis of a life story interview of a youth disengaged from armed groups in Colombia. Aiming to understand his subjective drives of (dis)engagement, the analysis is based on an approach that expands the Listening Guide of Carol Gilligan with culturally oriented approaches. This led to a perspective that situates subjectivity in neither the inner realm of the personal nor in the outer one of the social context. Rather, it puts subjectivity in a person’s voice by simultaneously considering it as (1) a physiologically embodied process shaping and expressing the narrator’s experiences and (2) a performance responding to life and its sociocultural context. From this perspective, subjective drives of (dis)engagement are transformed into subjectified forces, belonging to the dynamic of a psychosocial zone (Andrews et al. 2004). Understanding engagement with and disengagement from armed groups from this perspective offers a novel contribution of how to deal with these children in their reinsertion process.
This article contributes to ongoing discussions in psychology about how to explore psychological phenomena as embedded in social practice. While recognising the valuable contributions from ethnographic methodology, we argue that ethnographic explorations in psychology can be developed further in order to shed light on psychological problems in practice. As an exemplary empirical field, we draw on studies of the everyday life of children and how children’s problems in school can be understood and explored as part of their conduct of everyday life across contexts and together with others. Through concrete examples, we elucidate an approach where theoretical concepts guide how researchers conduct observations. It is concluded that such situated observations are at odds with a tendency in psychology to focus separately on isolated individual characteristics. Situated observations thus shift awareness from categorisations of individual children to conflictual social interplay between persons in social practice.
Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is an approach to qualitative inquiry in psychology that focuses on experiential meanings individuals ascribe to significant lived experiences. IPA’s flexibility is evident in application of its techniques with various methods, including individual interviews and focus groups, and in the freedom it accords researchers to work with various emphases—for example, experiential and contextual foregrounding. Even so, the combination of IPA and focus groups is not a simplistic one but rather one that warrants in-depth engagement, a process that entails (a) furnishing a theoretical based justification for one’s choice of method and (b) detailed explication of procedures involved in the application of focus group method within an IPA framework. In this article, I discuss methodological considerations in my utilization of focus groups, within an IPA framework, to explore the lived experiences of a sample of bereaved parental cancer caregivers in Nairobi.
The present contribution focuses on the discursive perspective, which finds its roots in the several “turns” that animated the previous century. Besides the “discursive” and the “narrative” turns, the “contextual turn” has highlighted that meanings shape themselves in a context, which could be seen both as a “cotext” (the linguistic around) as well as an extralinguistic frame (Slama-Cazacu 1959/1961). Such perspective allows considering texts as diatexts (Mininni et al. 2008), namely as “efforts after meaning,” aimed at manifesting their dialogical correspondence with a specific “context” (Slama-Cazacu 2007). The cognitive engagement and the affective involvement of the interlocutors during an interaction demand a constant monitoring activity on the need for attunement between intentions and situational bonds.
Memory can be seen as an emplaced phenomenon rather than as an internal, psychological archive. Approaches relating to cognition and memory as practice, seeing cognition as an extended, distributed phenomenon, will be considered in theoretical and empirical contexts in this article. Theoretical approaches to emplaced, embodied memory will be explored in the context of my sensory ethnographic research on place perception. I curated a series of sensory ethnographic engagements to explore how three international students from Tunisia, Indonesia, and Germany used emplaced knowledge and memories of their city and of their previous homes. Using a participatory sensory ethnography, involving walking interviews, my collaborators devised unique memorial responses to evoke their new and previous places of residence. The collaborations presented here illustrate the embodied, emplaced nature of memory. The use of sensory ethnography has enabled me to construct memory as an emplaced, embodied, multisensory phenomenon, rather than an internal archive.
This paper describes an experiment in carrying out, as a group, a phenomenological analysis of a qualitative interview on the topic of mistrust. One in-depth interview was analyzed phenomenologically by each of the six members of our group. We then shared and discussed our individual analyses to generate a consensual analysis. Finally, additional or divergent perspectives were offered by individual group members to add further contextual and reflexive dimensions. We consider what we gained from this exercise and the difficulties encountered. We also reflect on the insights into the topic of mistrust produced by our analyses.
This paper explores some talk generated by a five-minute task given to a small number of people with early-stage dementia, and their partners. Using primarily conversation analysis, and attending specifically to occasioned talk the paper discusses a number of extracts of talk, demonstrating the practices used to bring off the given task through that talk. In a discussion of the key methodological features of the paper the authors examine the conversational methods used to undertake this task and conclude that whether a conversation involving a person with dementia and their carer is naturally occurring or 'got up' by carers/medical personnel or researchers it always has the potential to be used as having diagnostic significance. Key analytic features of the paper are the devices used in the distribution of interactional rights in a setting where occasioned talk has been requested. The analysis, we hope, acts as an opening gambit for thinking about the potential role of communication strategies in maintaining well-being in the context of early onset dementia.
This paper focuses on the teaching of the qualitative method, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA), to healthcare professionals (HCPs). It introduces briefly the philosophical background of IPA and how it has been used within healthcare research, and then discusses the teaching of IPA to HCPs within received educational theory. Lastly, the paper describes how IPA has been taught to students/trainees in some specific healthcare professions (clinical psychology, medicine, nursing and related disciplines). In doing this, the paper demonstrates the essential simplicity, paradoxical complexity, and methodological rigour that IPA can offer as a research tool in understanding healthcare and illness from the patient or service user perspective.
Concepts of system, structure, process, inter-subjectivity, and temporality are often used to help clarify the ways by which people relate to their environments and build knowledge. This phenomenological study examined the sense of belonging within a specific teenage culture as lived and described by economically disadvantaged teenagers. Six essential constituents were uncovered relating to in-group/out-group dynamics, social identity formation, and the effects of neighborhood structural limitations on the transfer of knowledge between groups. Drawing from certain ideas in phenomenological theory regarding the centrality of what is represented by the concept life-world, the results of this study were discussed in relation to certain social constructionist renderings of culture and society. It is suggested herein that a general understanding of the role of the life-world from the perspective of participants within any qualitative psychological research study is a necessary starting point in order to avoid unwarranted theoretical speculation, but especially so in research pertaining to relations between members of a particular in-group.
Q methodology and a Delphi poll combined qualitative and quantitative methods to explore definitions of White and Epston's (1990)48.
White , M and
Epston , D . 1990. Narrative means to therapeutic ends, New York: Norton. View all references narrative approach to therapy among a group of UK practitioners. A Delphi poll was used to generate statements about narrative therapy. The piloting of statements by the Delphi panel identified agreement about theoretical ideas underpinning narrative therapy and certain key practices. A wider group of practitioners ranked the statements in a Q sort and made qualitative comments about their sorting. Quantitative methods (principal components analysis) were used to extract eight accounts of narrative therapy, five of which are qualitatively analysed in this paper. Agreement and differences were identified across a range of issues, including the social construction of narratives, privileging a political stance or narrative techniques and the relationship with other therapies, specifically systemic psychotherapy. Q methodology, combined with the Delphi poll, was a unique and innovative feature of this study.
This article is a critical reflection on the methodological issues encountered when using handwritten diaries as a method of data collection. It provides a reflection on a longitudinal study that used diary data from competitive trampolinists over a three-month period. This article focuses on the advantages and difficulties encountered by the researchers when using this methodology. It is also centered on the participant's experience of the research and the potential benefits that may be encountered. Issues discussed include setting the duration of the diary and maintaining the motivation of participants, the type of data collected, and the language used by participants. Also discussed is the potential for diary writing to elicit sensitive information, especially that of an otherwise undisclosed nature. Conclusions are drawn in relation to the use of diaries as a method of data collection and the potential advantages that they may offer.
Isabelle Stengers, perhaps unwittingly, perhaps knowingly, echoes a theme of the work of American philosopher Stanley Cavell (1995, p. 136) when she invites in the first edition of the journal Subjectivity, her readers to join her in slowing down, in hesitating, pausing, taking a breath in the face of our own endeavours to ‘produce subjectivity’ (Stengers, 2008, p. 49). Cavell’s gesture of hesitation is similarly evocative and provocative. Where Stengers pushes for an approach which betrays or reveals rather than denounces, Cavell suggests that in the face of apparently constitutive philosophical oppositions, in stead of seeking to decide we should seek to dismantle. Betrayal rather than denunciation; revelation rather than condemnation; dismantling rather than deciding. Alluring and seductive ideas but the question is begged: where is the critical edge? This volume grapples with this question. It hesitates in the face of the complex relations between theory, research methods and practice, and the persons and places, or milieus, they are embedded in. It represents an attempt to revive the question as to what it means to do psychology critically, or for that matter, to practice critical theory.
This article locates significant changes in the discipline of psychology in recent years in the context of transformations of higher education that in turn are a function of the emergence of “neoliberal” capitalism, which deregulates welfare and education services and places responsibility on the individual. The article reviews theoretical resources, from Marxism, poststructuralist theories of power, and feminism, and brings them to bear on narratives of the “paradigm revolution” in psychology—the attempt to shift research from laboratory-experimental method to a qualitative approach attentive to meaning and experience. These debates can now be seen to resonate with deeper political-economic changes that have taken place at the level of institutional management practices and subjectivity—changes profoundly gendered in line with the neoliberal emphasis on “emotional labour.” The article concludes with an account of the consequences for experience, rhetoric, affect, and self-abasement in these neoliberal conditions and for how we might understand the role of “psychologisation” in critical psychology, qualitative research, and the broader culture.
This metadata relates to an electronic version of an article published in Qualitative research in psychology, 2008, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 19-32. Qualitative research in psychology is available online at informaworldTM at http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=jour~content=a791344108 This paper is about changing cultural contexts for resistance and the way that cultural practices that are resistant to power at one moment become, at the next, implicated in power. The hegemony of certain forms of personal experience also constitutes certain kinds of margins and certain kinds of resistance. Contemporary practices of the self are underpinned by the assumption that there is a frailty of social relations in contemporary society that is homologous to a frailty of the self, a frailty that is addressed by and perpetuated by therapeutic modes of self-management and professional intervention. Qualitative researchers concerned with representations of subjectivity are often engaged in the elaboration of these therapeutic discourses as an alternative to positivist traditions of research in psychology. The interventions described are marked by what can be termed 'knowing emotional illiteracy' that disturbs what we know about the self and identity.
This article addresses the increasing need in psychology to develop creative research methods that adjust both to the research objectives and to a given theoretical framework. By focusing on a study in health psychology, we propose a new tool that may be appropriate to analyse subjective well-being, in particular, but more generally other issues of human experience. Based on a socio-cultural approach, we present how our method embraces psychological phenomena as changing processes embedded within everyday life. Moreover, we describe its longitudinal design characterised by the possibility to access meaning through two stages separated by time yet closely interlinked: the first made up of a descriptive interview on “a day in the life” and the second one of a reflective interview, mobilising a “turning back” to daily activity in order to further develop related intentions and values. Through empirical results, we show how this method may be particularly fruitful in reaching in-depth qualitative data through indirect means. Implications for research in the psychological field are discussed.
The criteria for the validation of qualitative research are still open to discussion. This article has two aims: first, to present a summary of concepts, emerging from the field of qualitative research that present answers regarding issues of validation, reliability, and generalization; and second, to propose six concepts that allow the monitoring of the validation of phenomenological research within the context of qualitative research in psychology—intentionality, psychological phenomenological reduction, eidetic psychological analysis, syntheses of identification, phenomenon versus individual, and invariant structures. It is argued that there are general criteria that qualitative methods must meet, and specific methodological criteria to monitor the quality control. A final definition is proposed, to delimit the validation, reliability, and generalization of the phenomenological research results.
Though the debate over the validity of qualitative research and its existence within the field of psychology has somewhat diminished over the years, negotiations over its location and form continue. This article examines the pressure on qualitative researchers to acculturate and adapt in order to gain legitimacy and acceptance in a field dominated by quantitative research. We treat the emergence of qualitative methods as a form of contact between differing (research) cultures, with the concomitant adjustments and accommodations, and we utilize Berry's (1980, 2005) typology of acculturation as a lens through which to examine these intercultural interactions. We examine, in particular detail, the experiences of qualitative researchers within counseling psychology, as that is the subdiscipline which has most explicitly defined itself as welcoming qualitative research. It is our view that qualitative researchers, within psychology in general, have adopted an acculturation strategy of assimilation rather than integration as defined by Berry (1980). We discuss the implications of this stance for the diversification of research methodologies in psychology.
This article examines the use of metaphors in the context of motivational interviewing (MI)-sessions in Finnish Probation Service. The focus is on substance abusing clients' metaphoric change talk. The analyses are based on videotaped and transcribed data consisting of 41 MI-sessions. This database involves the first two counseling sessions of 21 client-counselor pairs. Sessions were videotaped in nine Probation Service offices in Finland in 2007–2008. The results of the study display that the use of metaphors is common in connection with change talk. The most common conceptual metaphor was Change Is a Journey. This conceptual metaphor was here taken as the focus of our closer analysis. The way clients construct their identity as travelers in initial sessions seemed to be correlated with their treatment outcome during the follow-up year (p = .015). The results of our analysis also displayed that the clients used the conceptual metaphor Change Is a Journey in positive change talk expressions involving the need and wish to change. When talking about their ability to change, however, the clients often used negative change talk expressions displaying basic disbelief in their ability to reach their goal. In general, we conclude that our qualitative analysis provides evidence for the value of the role of metaphors as vehicles of change in substance abuse treatment.
Sampling is central to the practice of qualitative methods, but compared with data collection and analysis its processes have been discussed relatively little. A four-point approach to sampling in qualitative interview-based research is presented and critically discussed in this article, which integrates theory and process for the following: (1) defining a sample universe, by way of specifying inclusion and exclusion criteria for potential participation; (2) deciding upon a sample size, through the conjoint consideration of epistemological and practical concerns; (3) selecting a sampling strategy, such as random sampling, convenience sampling, stratified sampling, cell sampling, quota sampling or a single-case selection strategy; and (4) sample sourcing, which includes matters of advertising, incentivising, avoidance of bias, and ethical concerns pertaining to informed consent. The extent to which these four concerns are met and made explicit in a qualitative study has implications for its coherence, transparency, impact and trustworthiness.
Qualitative researchers require and seek methods that deliver high quality data for analysis. Timelining is one of a number of visual methodologies that have value in this regard. Timelining is a visual method focused on time-based representation of events in respondent’s lives; timelines deliver some form of visually-organized and time-based representation of events in respondent’s lives about the research issues in focus. Timelining is an extremely flexible method in practice. Timelines may vary in form, from highly structured to less structured; they may consist of a simple list of events by time, or an elaborated visual display or diagram, with or without added commentary on the events over time. They can be completed individually by research participants, by groups of participants, by the researcher, or jointly by participants and researchers. They can span varying times, covering a whole lifetime or a specific period, with the timeframe being set by the researcher or left to the discretion of the participant. They are frequently accompanied by interviews where the meaning of the timeline entries is elaborated. They can be adapted to work in conjunction with a wide variety of other qualitative methods, and can be used to explore a wide array of research topics, in a variety of research settings, with a wide range of research participants. They have value for engaging participants and enhancing rapport, reducing researcher-participant power differentials, enhancing recollections and narratives, accessing sensitive and difficult material, enabling access to material limited by language expression, and generally deepening and extending data.
This entry provides a background to timelining methodology, and its location as a visual diagramming method for qualitative research. It describes the various forms that timelining can take, with examples, and discusses issues relating to the use of timelining in research, its flexibility and value, its contributions to assisting and improving research, the ethics of its use, and some caveats for use. Timelining is a flexible methodology with a valuable contribution to offer qualitative research practice.
Over the course of psychology’s first several decades, the language used to convey the subject matter gradually shifted from being free and literary to being strictly constrained and disciplined by increasingly focused theoretical demands. The project described here – “Disciplining Psychology” – aimed to depict this transformation by generating images of the faces of three highly influential psychologists – William James, Sigmund Freud, and B. F. Skinner. Each image is composed of the words used in one of each individual’s most important books. The tightening of the disciplinary vocabulary is revealed in the differences among the three arrays of words themselves, but I have also striven to reflect it in the aesthetic aspects of each image. The method used here could easily be extended to a wider array of authors, texts, and psychological topics.
Following a report of a 15-fold increase in published qualitative studies catalogued in PsycNET between 1995 and 2016, researchers engaged in a closer examination of changes in published qualitative research. Four questions are addressed: (1) Can the reported 15-fold increase of published qualitative studies indexed in a psychology database be replicated using a similar database? (2) If the increase in qualitative articles is adapted from the raw number to the relative number of qualitative publications compared to non-qualitative (e.g., quantitative, review articles) publications, does the 15-fold rate of change hold, increase, or decrease? (3) Are there specific domains that have contributed disproportionately to the increase in qualitative articles? and (4) As the proliferation of published qualitative research is examined, what portion of qualitative work is published in moderate- to high-impact journals compared to low-quality or non-indexed journals? Each of these questions are systematically addressed using PsycINFO. Results suggest that while the 15-fold increase in raw numbers is replicable, the relative increase of qualitative articles is a more modest sixfold increase. Further, much of the increase in qualitative articles appears to stem from journals related to healthcare. Finally, results suggest that the increase in quantity may be associated with a slight decline of the quality of research being published.
Aboriginal youth are highly overrepresented within the child welfare system. High-risk youth are often placed in out-of-community residential placements. Such residential placements have been described by some as a continuation of colonial practices. Using communication theory as a conceptual model, we propose a qualitative analysis of micro-interactions that take place between Aboriginal youth and non-Aboriginal workers during the management of high-risk behaviors within a residential program. Three broad categories of interaction emerge from the data: complementary, symmetrical/complementary (where youth show a form of submission despite resistance), and symmetrical (characterized by a power struggle). Despite the diversity of interactions along this symmetrical to complementary continuum, interventions always start and finish in the same fashion. Moreover, the nature of interactions depended mostly on how quickly youth accepted the consequences of their behaviors. We also extracted five categories related to culture, race or context that are perceived as influencing the interactions that take place between staff and youth. The analysis of micro-interactions within clinical, organizational, social and historical contexts points to mechanisms by which asymmetrical power relations may be replicated on a day-to-day basis despite the best intentions of residential workers.
In contrast with Daniel Stern’s extensive work on the motherhood constellation, very little has been written about the fatherhood constellation. In an effort to explore emergent fatherhood and the idea of the fatherhood constellation, psychoanalytic research interviews were conducted with white, middle-class South African fathers of infants. The findings highlight two central themes which offer a way to begin thinking about the nature of the fatherhood constellation. Firstly, the fatherhood constellation is constituted by the father’s wish to protect and support the mother and baby. Secondly, the fatherhood constellation is characterized by what fatherhood is not, as opposed to what it is to be a father. Unlike the mother, the father does not get pregnant, he does not give birth and he cannot breastfeed, all defining features of motherhood. This paper subsequently suggests that the representation of absence may be a key step to the father’s presence in his own mind.
Narrative research can offer insights into perennial methodological problems facing quantitative researchers in the field of child sexual abuse. Using research data from a retrospective, narrative study of 29 adult participants who had spent their childhood in a New Zealand commune in which child sexual abuse was known to have occurred, this article explores four key methodological issues in the field of child sexual abuse research. These include problems surrounding the definition and reporting of child sexual abuse; the relationship between sexual abuse and other adverse experiences; the link between abuse and its variable psychological effects; and finally, the ethics of conducting research into child sexual abuse. Recommendations are made for future directions in child sexual abuse research.
Culturally-embedded and embodied understandings of interaction, transmitted intergenerationally, and often non-consciously through sensory and affective memory, are notoriously difficult to access. Such information is often contained in implicit memory and is not readily available for narrative explanation. Alternative methodologies that can access these models of meaning are required. While videos of mother-infant interaction have long been used for both assessment and clinical intervention, in this paper, the use of participant commentary during observation of interactional videos as a qualitative research method, alongside narrative interviews, is proposed. The utility of this dual method is demonstrated through its use in a study aimed at understanding local understandings of maternal sensitive responsiveness in a South African township setting. By analysing participant responses to video material alongside their answers to interview questions, this paper suggests that participant reflection on video material utilised alongside narrative interviewing allows for analysis and interpretation of shifting participant identifications and positions, capturing greater complexity in understandings of culturally-embedded parent-infant interaction.
The present study aims to explore how the leaders of two political parties, the party in power New Democracy (ND) and one of the parties in opposition SYRIZA, depict ingroups and outgroups using a past, present or future account, when representing their group identities. It focuses on commemorative statements made by political leaders on the anniversaries of the restoration of the Greek democracy in 1974. Statements from five different years are analysed: 2004 (the year when Greece hosted the Olympic Games and values of democracy were associated with the Olympic ideals); 2006; 2008; 2012 and 2014 (two of the years of economic crisis). Analysis concerns the rhetorical framing of the restoration of democracy by leaders, focusing on the use of past, present or future account in group representations. Findings identified three key issues around which political leaders shape their temporal account: temporal slippage from past categories to the current political parties vs horizontal comradeship between them, reflections on ingroup history vs expected future outcomes, denial of spatiotemporal co-existence of competing groups vs ongoing co-existence between ingroups and outgroups across time in the political landscape. Findings are discussed under the light of social identity theory and the consideration of different temporal accounts as identity maintenance strategies.
The traumatic political upheavals in Ecuador during the 1980s and 1990s left a scar on the psychosocial wellbeing of the nation and its citizens. Focus groups were conducted with victims of these political traumas, specifically with Ecuadorian survivors whose cases were investigated by the Truth Commission of Ecuador (TCE). These data comprise participant accounts but also my feelings and reflexive responses to the research process. More specifically, the significance of researcher reflexivity and countertransference in creating a supportive research environment with participants who have been traumatised is explored. The researcher’s reflexive approach may offer a recognising experience for participants and has the potential to become a partially reparative and therapeutic experience. I also demonstrate how embracing my own vulnerability as a researcher meant latent and unconscious themes came closer to the surface, which led to enhanced research rapport and greater understanding in the data analysis phase.
Caring for a disabled child as a lone parent is complex and dynamic, and can affect well-being significantly. Five single mothers caring for a daughter with Rett syndrome took photographs to document their experiences prior to taking part in extended interviews lasting one to two hours. Verbal and visual data were analysed together using interpretative phenomenological analysis. Two inter-connected themes are presented. Committing to ‘Total Caregiving’ captures the ways in which the mothers aspired to excel at caregiving, anticipating and meeting their daughter’s needs, projecting them from stigma but at considerable cost to themselves, Self-Abnegation and Existential Crisis outlines the associated psychological challenges experienced by the women – especially how they felt ‘fused’ in a negative triad with their daughters and a personified ‘Retts’; a malign all-encompassing force in their lives. Applications of the findings to interventions and an evaluation of the methodologies in the context of qualitative research are offered.
Men are less likely to seek medical help than women and are more likely to adopt unhealthy practices. This study investigated men’s constructions of alcohol and tobacco cessation interventions in relation to dominant masculine identities. Focus groups and interviews with 12 male university students were analysed using an eclectic approach informed by discursive psychology and Foucauldian discourse analysis. Findings suggested that interventions encouraging competition among friends were constructed as favourable, and autonomy and control were central to men’s accounts. While men presented their behaviour change as intentional, their accounts revealed a tendency to conceal this from others, suggesting a negative influence of peer pressure. However, participants who had raised money for charity whilst abstaining described this process as rewarding and acting as a “buffer” to legitimise their healthy behaviour when socializing with other men. Implications for health providers and policy makers are discussed.
Existing guidance on evaluating the quality of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) research has provided criteria to assess work as good, acceptable or unacceptable. Given that IPA has become a well-established member of the qualitative methods repertoire, we think it is valuable now to focus in much more detail on the particular qualities that are the hallmark of high quality IPA research. Here we present four such qualities which are discussed in detail and illustrated through the use of exemplars from excellent IPA work. The qualities are: constructing a compelling, unfolding narrative; developing a vigorous experiential and/or existential account; close analytic reading of participants' words; attending to convergence and divergence. Finally, the four qualities are briefly considered in relation to the theoretical underpinnings of IPA.
In this special issue, we create space to discuss and extend on conceptualisation, theorisation, and practice of allyship in qualitative psychology research. Allyship can be defined broadly as a way of redressing power imbalances between privileged and marginalised groups and individuals and is thus strongly aligned with qualitative methods founded on social justice. The discipline of psychology, in contrast, has traditionally contributed to oppression of people considered not White, not heterosexual, not male, disabled, poor, not sane, and/or Indigenous. The contributions in this special issue consider the role of psychology in redressing this oppression. In this introduction to the special issue, we explore some of the common threads across these contributions, namely the ways in which power and control, relationships, and intersectionality and diversity relate to research involving allyship. Overall, the work presented in this special issue furthers knowledge and innovation in allyship and the particular place of allyship in qualitative research within psychology and beyond.
The dissertation is a core component of a psychology undergraduate degree, though very little research has been conducted into supervision processes at undergraduate level. This study examined the accounts of supervisors of qualitative dissertations, in order to identify current practices of supervision and possible resources that might support supervision. Seventeen supervisors from psychology departments in North East England and Scotland were interviewed and three main themes were identified using thematic analysis: the quantitative culture in psychology teaching, supervisors’ expertise, and the supervision process. Supervisors noted that students were typically constrained in their choice of methodology due to limited qualitative methods teaching, lack of training and guidance for supervisors, and concerns about the risks of demanding qualitative projects. Supervisors therefore often reported staying within their comfort zone, electing where possible to supervise only the methods that they themselves use. Recommendations for practical resources are provided to help support students and supervisors in the process of undertaking qualitative psychology dissertations.
Keywords: qualitative research, undergraduate dissertation, research methods teaching, empirical project, supervision
In this special issue, we aim to introduce a mapping of qualitative research in psychology across European settings. Qualitative research in psychology constitutes a complex terrain, with a multiplicity of epistemological and methodological perspectives anchored to a diversity of historical, political, and socio-cultural settings. Despite recent progress toward the institutionalisation of qualitative research in certain countries, the landscape of qualitative research in psychology in Europe remains largely unexplored. Following a brief overview of qualitative research in psychology, we proceed with narrating the story of the “birth” of this special issue. We then briefly introduce the constellation of articles included in this special issue. We conclude with wider implications concerning the venture of establishing qualitative research in psychology in Europe.
This study describes the current state of qualitative psychology and gives an overview of the philosophical paradigms used in English language qualitative psychology studies from the post-socialist countries of Central Eastern Europe. For political and historical reasons, academic life of this area is unique, providing a special field for investigation. This study explored the following research questions: Which philosophical paradigms are used in qualitative psychology? What kind of methods are applied? What kind of fields in psychology are examined? Thirty-five articles were analysed from five countries. Articles were examined through their paradigmatic considerations, using a dichotomous qualitative quasi-testing to distinguish positivist/postpositivist from interpretive/constructivist paradigms. We examined the methodology and content of various articles and analysed the keywords to explore common themes of interest. A dominant constructivist philosophical approach was present. Pure positivist articles were found to be quite rare, but mixed paradigms seemed to be frequent. Most of the methodologies were not specified. In terms of interest, the most commonly examined field was found to be social psychology. In the postsocialist era, mixed paradigms were conspicuous since culture and tradition might have had a significant effect on ontology, epistemology, and knowledge of the researcher.