Do we really want a future as qualitative psychologists?

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Abstract

In this article I pick up some threads from the contributions in the previous special issue of IPSB dedicated to the future of qualitative psychology, and elaborate on them around two main points. The first is the status of qualitative psychology as a social and institutional category; the second is what we mean by experience. As concerns the first point, I argue that using the label of qualitative psychology may separate us from the rest of psychology, also creating a false impression of homogeneity among qualitative approaches and a false opposition with quantitative methods. Implications for teaching as well as research are discussed. The second issue has to do with experience as the object of qualitative psychology investigations. I propose three ways of formulating experience in research which would prevent naïve assumptions about accessing it directly through language. These are 1) experience as experience of the researcher, 2) experience as situated intersubjectivity, and 3) experience as expression. I discuss how being clearer about definitions of experience and going towards engaged forms of research could safeguard the integrity of both researcher and participants.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)670-680
JournalIntegrative Psychological and Behavioral Science
Volume49
Issue number4
Early online date4 Jul 2015
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2015

Keywords

  • Qualitative psychology
  • Experience
  • Subjectivity
  • Participatory research
  • Narrative
  • Recognition

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