A phenomenological hermeneutical method for researching lived experience


Prof. A. Lindseth, Center for Practical Knowledge, Bodø Regional University, Norway.
E-mail: anders.lindseth@hibo.no


This study describes a phenomenological hermeneutical method for interpreting interview texts inspired by the theory of interpretation presented by Paul Ricoeur. Narrative interviews are transcribed. A naïve understanding of the text is formulated from an initial reading. The text is then divided into meaning units that are condensed and abstracted to form sub-themes, themes and possibly main themes, which are compared with the naïve understanding for validation. Lastly the text is again read as a whole, the naïve understanding and the themes are reflected on in relation to the literature about the meaning of lived experience and a comprehensive understanding is formulated. The comprehensive understanding discloses new possibilities for being in the world. This world can be described as the prefigured life world of the interviewees as configured in the interview and refigured first in the researcher's interpretation and second in the interpretation of the readers of the research report. This may help the readers refigure their own life.