Dialogue. Description vs. interpretation – a new understanding of an old dilemma in human science research

Caring Science, Växjö University, School of Health Science and Social Work, SE-351 95 Växjö, Sweden.
Nursing Philosophy (Impact Factor: 0.83). 11/2004; 5(3):268-73. DOI: 10.1111/j.1466-769X.2004.00180.x
Source: PubMed
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    • "It is the Gadamerian stance that we are never free from our experiences, and therefore always interpret and understand things on the basis of our preunderstanding. Our preunderstanding is, as a consequence, an absolute prerequisite for understanding ( €), but it paradoxically also constitutes an obstacle to understanding (Dahlberg & Dahlberg, 2004; Geanellos, 2000). Gadamer (1989) uses the metaphor fusion of horizons to describe understanding. "
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    ABSTRACT: This inquiry explored how a group of teachers experienced resources for their well-being, both at work and in their private lives. The findings indicate that caring, for others and for oneself, is central for teachers' well-being. Caring is manifested in being present in the moment, and in actions which promote the well-being of oneself and others. Implications from the findings suggest that both school administration and teacher education should pay special attention to the caring aspects of teaching, as they influence teachers' well-being and retention, as well as the pupils' learning. Health promotion interventions could benefit from these findings.
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    • "However, as researchers we have to switch to a reflective attitude that is to be critical about how we experience the world, i.e. the research phenomenon (Dahlberg et al., 2008). The researchers' approach to the phenomenon was on the one hand open and on the other hand bridled, thus allowing the phenomenon to be what it is and not what it is supposed to be (Dahlberg & Dahlberg, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to explore the meaning of suffering and relief from suffering as described in autobiographies by tourists who experienced the tsunami on 26 December 2004 and lost loved ones. A lifeworld approach, inspired by the French philosopher Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology of perception, was chosen for the theoretical framework. This catastrophe totally changed the survivors' world within a moment. In this new world, there were three main phases: the power of remaining focused, a life of despair, and the unbearable becoming bearable. Life turns into a matter of making the unbearable bearable. Such challenging experiences are discussed in terms of the philosophy of Weil, Jaspers, and Merleau-Ponty. The survivors of the tsunami catastrophe were facing a boundary situation and "le malheur," the unthinkable misfortune. Even at this lowest level of misfortune, joy is possible to experience. This is part of the survivors' ambivalent experiences of their lifeworld. In this world of the uttermost despair there are also rays of hope, joy, and new life possibilities.
    Full-text · Article · Oct 2010 · International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
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    • "The interviewer tried to be open to the informants' descriptions, but at the same time she tried to bridle her own pre-understanding to gain a new understanding of the phenomenon (cf. Dahlberg & Dahlberg, 2004). "
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    ABSTRACT: To reformulate and adjust to their life-situation, women living with heart failure (HF) need help and support. However, the actual meaning of the phenomenon of support is not yet well described. The aim of the study was to uncover the meaning of the phenomenon of support as experienced by women living with HF in middle age. A reflective lifeworld approach within the perspective of caring science was used. Six women (aged 33Á61 years) were interviewed. The findings show that the essence of support can be understood as safety, depicted by understanding. However, there is tension between what is supportive and what is not, meaning that even though intentions are good, intended support may involve limitations, uncertainties or insecurity. The meaning of support is further illuminated in the following constituents: ''knowledge and understanding'', ''finding balance'', ''ambiguity of relationships'' and ''support and formal care*a matter of trust and mistrust''. Findings demonstrate the need for carers to find an approach that ensures both good quality medical care and, at the same time, acknowledges the uniqueness of each individual.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2009 · International Journal of Qualitative Studies on Health and Well-Being
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