Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 23

phenomenology Related Abstracts

23 Controlling Fear: Jordanian Women’s Perceptions of the Diagnosis and Surgical Treatment of Early Stage Breast Cancer

Authors: Rana F. Obeidat, Suzanne S. Dickerson, Gregory G. Homish, Nesreen M. Alqaissi, Robin M. Lally

Abstract:

Background: Despite the fact that breast cancer is the most prevalent cancer among Jordanian women, practically nothing is known about their perceptions of early stage breast cancer and surgical treatment. Objective: To gain understanding of the diagnosis and surgical treatment experience of Jordanian women diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Methods: An interpretive phenomenological approach was used for this study. A purposive sample of 28 Jordanian women who were surgically treated for early stage breast cancer within 6 months of the interview was recruited. Data were collected using individual interviews and analyzed using Heideggerian hermeneutical methodology. Results: Fear had a profound effect on Jordanian women’s stories of diagnosis and surgical treatment of early stage breast cancer. Women’s experience with breast cancer and its treatment was shaped by their pre-existing fear of breast cancer, the disparity in the quality of care at various health care institutions, and sociodemographic factors (e.g., education, age). Conclusions: Early after the diagnosis, fear was very strong and women lost perspective of the fact that this disease was treatable and potentially curable. To control their fears, women unconditionally trusted God, the health care system, surgeons, family, friends, and/or neighbors, and often accepted treatment offered by their surgeons without questioning. Implications for practice: Jordanian healthcare providers have a responsibility to listen to their patients, explore meanings they ascribe to their illness, and provide women with proper education and support necessary to help them cope with their illness.

Keywords: Experience, Breast Cancer, phenomenology, early stage, Jordanian

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22 The Lexical Eidos as an Invariant of a Polysemantic Word

Authors: T. Solonchak, S. Pesina

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Phenomenological analysis is not based on natural language, but ideal language which is able to be a carrier of ideal meanings – eidos representing typical structures or essences. For this purpose, it’s necessary to release from the spatio-temporal definiteness of a subject and then state its noetic essence (eidos) by means of free fantasy generation. Herewith, as if a totally new objectness is created - the universal, confirming the thesis that thinking process takes place in generalizations passing by numerous means through the specific to the general and from the general through the specific to the singular.

Keywords: phenomenology, lexical eidos, noema, polysemantic word, semantic core

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21 Good Death as Perceived by the Critically Ill Patients' Family Member

Authors: Wanlapa Kunsongkeit

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When a person gets sick, he or she goes to hospital for the treatment. In the case of severe illness, there might be no hope for some patients to recover. In this state, the patients will face anxiety and fear. These feelings make the patients suffer in mind until the time of death or called bad death. These feeling also directly effect to family members who are loved ones and significant persons of the patients. They can help the dying patients to have good death. From literature reviews, many studies focused on good death in patients and nurses. Little is known about good death in family member. Therefore, the qualitative research based on Heideggerian phenomenology aimed to describe good death as perceived by the critically ill patients’ family members. Five informants who were the critically ill patients’ family members at hospital in Chonburi were purposively selected. Data were collected by in-depth interview, observation and critical reflection during January, 2014 to March, 2014 . Cohen, Kahn and Steeves’s (2000) steps guided data analysis. Trustworthiness was maintained throughout the study following Lincoln and Guba’s guidelines. Four themes were emerged, which were no suffering, acceptance of imminent death, preparing for death, and being with the family. This findings provide deep understanding of good death as perceived by the critically ill patients’ family members. It can be basic information for nurses to provide good death nursing care and further explore for development of knowledge regarding good death nursing care.

Keywords: phenomenology, good death, family member, critically ill patient

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20 Pre-Service Science Teachers' Perceptions Related to the Concept of Laboratory: A Metaphorical Analysis

Authors: Salih Uzun

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The laboratory activities are seen an indispensable part of science, teaching, and learning. In this study, the aim was to identify pre-service science teachers’ perceptions related to the concept of laboratory through metaphors. It is expressed that metaphors can be used as a powerful research tool in order to understand personal perceptions. Therefore, metaphors were used with the aim of revealing a picture regarding how pre-service science teachers perceive laboratory. Within the scope of this aim, phenomenographic research design was adopted for this study and an answer was sought to the question; ‘What are pre-service science teachers’ perceptions about the concept of laboratory?’. The sample of this study was a total of 80 pre-service science teachers at various grade levels in Turkey. Participants were asked to complete the sentence; ‘Laboratory is like…; because…’. Documents including pre-service science teachers’ answers to the open-ended questions were used as data sources and the data were analysed with content analysis.

Keywords: phenomenology, Laboratory, Metaphor, pre-service science teachers

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19 Video-Observation: A Phenomenological Research Tool for International Relation?

Authors: Andreas Aagaard Nohr

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International Relations is an academic discipline which is rarely in direct contact with its field. However, there has in recent years been a growing interest in the different agents within and beyond the state and their associated practices; yet some of the research tools with which to study them are not widely used. This paper introduces video-observation as a method for the study of IR and argues that it offers a unique way of studying the complexity of the everyday context of actors. The paper is divided into two main parts: First, the philosophical and methodological underpinnings of the kind of data that video-observation produces are discussed; primarily through a discussion of the phenomenology of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Second, taking simulation of a WTO negotiation round as an example, the paper discusses how the data created can be analysed: in particular with regard to the structure of events, the temporal and spatial organization of activities, rhythm and periodicity, and the concrete role of artefacts and documents. The paper concludes with a discussion of the ontological, epistemological, and practical challenges and limitations that ought to be considered if video-observation is chosen as a method within the field of IR.

Keywords: International Relations, phenomenology, video-observation

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18 Discerning Beginning Teachers' Conceptions of Competence through a Phenomenographic Investigation

Authors: Pauline Swee Choo Goh, Kung Teck Wong

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The research reported here investigates variation in beginning teachers’ early experiences of their own teaching competency. A phenomenographic research approach was used to show the qualitatively different ways teacher competence was understood amongst beginning teachers in Malaysia. Phenomenographic interviews were conducted with 18 beginning teachers who had started full time teaching for between 1-3 years. Analysis revealed that beginning teachers ‘saw’, ‘understood’ the conceptions of competency in five different ways: i) the ability to manage classroom and student behavior, ii) a strong knowledge of the subject content, iii) the ability to reach out for assistance and support, iv) understanding the students they teach, and v) possessing values of professionalism. The relationships between these different ways are represented diagrammatically. This investigation gives an insider’s perspective a strong voice of what constitutes teacher competence, as well as illustrates that if teacher competence is to be used for any articulation of teacher standards, the term must be carefully defined through the help of the group most affected by any judgements of their competency to avoid misunderstandings, unhappiness and discontent.

Keywords: Teacher Education, phenomenology, Competency, pre-service teachers

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17 My Dress, My Body and My Choice Politics in Kenya

Authors: Emmy Kipsoi

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Kenya legalized the Sexual offence bill (2001), after vigorous campaigning and lobbying by feminist both in and out of parliament to ensure that the bill passed with minimal amendments. The sexual offense act provides for a good description on what constitutes sexual offences and the penalties that follow. It is from this context that the paper explores and interrogated the lived experiences of women living and working in Kenyan urban towns, who had experienced some form of sexual harassment. The study employed phenomenology to interpret the experiences of twenty (20) women in an urban town between the ages of 20 to 65 years women who had received at least some formal education and where engaged in some formal form of employment. The findings indicated that various forms of sexual harassment were experienced in the Kenyan town. Secondly, the knowledge about the contents of the bill wanting most of the women interviews were not aware of the protection accorded by law. The number of reported cases of sexual harassment shed light on the isolation, frustration and fear that women live despite a progressive law in print

Keywords: Women, phenomenology, Sexual harassment, Kenya

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16 Experienced Chronic Sorrow in Mothers of Children with Cancer: A Phenomenological Study

Authors: Nikfarid Lida, Maryam Rassouli, Leili Borimnejad, Hamid Alavi Majd

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Purpose: Chronic sorrow is experienced by mothers of children with cancer. It is a multidimensional concept and is experienced by mothers in different ways depends on their various contexts. Little is known about the concept of chronic sorrow in mothers of children with cancer living in Iran. This study aimed to clarify the concept and explain lived experiences of chronic sorrow in Iranian mothers of children with cancer. Methods: In this hermeneutic phenomenological study, 8 mothers of children with cancer participated in semi structured in-depth interviews about their experiences of chronic sorrow. Interviews continued until data saturation was reached. All interviews were recorded, transcribed, analyzed, and interpreted using 7 steps of the Dickelman et al’s phenomenological approach. Results: Three main themes emerged from mothers’ experiences of chronic sorrow related to child’s cancer. These main themes were ‘climbing up shaky rocks,’ ‘fear and hope,’ and ‘continuous role changing.’ Each of these themes consisted of several subthemes. Conclusion: There are similarities in experiencing chronic sorrow by mothers of children with chronic diseases in different societies. However some experiences are unique in Iranian mothers of children with cancer.

Keywords: Cancer, Children, phenomenology, Mothers, Iran

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15 Experiences of Military Nurse-Manager: Implication to Clinical Leadership

Authors: Maria Monica D. Espinosa

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This study aimed to identify and examine the characteristics of an effective leader in a Hospital institution from the perspectives of military nurse-managers. The researcher extracted the different facets of leadership from the stories of six nurse- managers from a military hospital. The stories which are in pre-reflective stage convey an unbiased perspective from which clinical leadership may be defined. Using Phenomenology as a method of Research, the lived experiences of the military nurse-managers served as empirical data which were reflected upon until the formulation of insights. The information from the co-researchers became gallows from which the characteristics of effective leadership in the clinical area were drawn. These insights were synthesized through layers of reflection that resulted to the knowledge about clinical leadership. The reflections are the following, (a) Clinical leaders develop their skills through experiences and hardwork; (b) Clinical leaders are devoted; (c) Clinical leaders are focused; (d) Clinical leaders are good in interpersonal relationship; (e) Clinical leaders are mentors; (f) Clinical leaders seek affirmation and recognition; and (g) Clinical leaders are responsible and dependable. The common themes that emerged from the nurse manager’s stories showed that clinical leadership maybe attained if leaders possessed the following traits, (a) The gift to establish a steadfast and firm management; (b) The proficiency to guide and encourage others towards the achievement of their goals and objectives; (c) The ability to instigate participative and collaborative work among his/her subordinates and (d) The aptitude and skill to address the institutional concerns in their unit. In the future, Clinical leaders should continually adapt an evaluation program on how they can relate socially with their subordinates, the result of which can be used as a basis in developing strategies on relationship enhancement. Moreover, they should empower the nurses by allowing them to voice out their opinions and concerns regarding assignments, role expectations, and workload issues to improve and strengthen the relationships among nurses. Lastly, they can incorporate a collaborative strategy to promote professional socialization attitudes of nurse managers who work with staff nurses to improve the quality of their proficiencies and enhance a positive clinical environment.

Keywords: phenomenology, implications, Experiences, clinical leadership, military nurse - managers

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14 Phenomenology of Child Labour in Estates, Farms and Plantations in Zimbabwe: A Comparative Analysis of Tanganda and Eastern Highlands Tea Estates

Authors: Chupicai Manuel

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The global efforts to end child labour have been increasingly challenged by adages of global capitalism, inequalities and poverty affecting the global south. In the face the of rising inequalities whose origin can be explained from historical and political economy analysis between the poor and the rich countries, child labour is also on the rise particularly on the global south. The socio-economic and political context of Zimbabwe has undergone serious transition from colonial times through the post-independence normally referred to as the transition period up to the present day. These transitions have aided companies and entities in the business and agriculture sector to exploit child labour while country provided conditions that enhance child labour due to vulnerability of children and anomic child welfare system that plagued the country. Children from marginalised communities dominated by plantations and farms are affected most. This paper explores the experiences and perceptions of children working in tea estates, plantations and farms, and the adults who formerly worked in these plantations during their childhood to share their experiences and perceptions on child labour in Zimbabwe. Childhood theories that view children as apprentices and a human rights perspectives were employed to interrogate the concept of childhood, child labour and poverty alleviation strategies. Phenomenological research design was adopted to describe the experiences of children working in plantations and interpret the meanings they have on their work and livelihoods. The paper drew form 30 children from two plantations through semi-structured interviews and 15 key informant interviews from civil society organisations, international labour organisation, adults who formerly worked in the plantations and the personnel of the plantations. The findings of the study revealed that children work on the farms as an alternative model for survival against economic challenges while the majority cited that poverty compel them to work and get their fees and food paid for. Civil society organisations were of the view that child rights are violated and the welfare system of the country is malfunctional. The perceptions of the majority of the children interviewed are that the system on the plantations is better and this confirmed the socio-constructivist theory that views children as apprentices. The study recommended child sensitive policies and welfare regime that protects children from exploitation together with policing and legal measures that secure child rights.

Keywords: phenomenology, Poverty Reduction, child labour, child rights

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13 The Sound of Getting Closer: A Phenomenological Research of the Senses of Proximity and Touch

Authors: Marcello Lussana

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Closer is a wireless system developed by the “Design Research Lab” of the UdK Berlin that is able to detect the proximity and touch between two (or more) persons. We have been using this system for one performance and one installation: in both cases, the proximity and touch events of the two participants have been sonified using the software Supercollider. In this paper, we are going to focus on the actual experience of the participants involved, especially related to the awareness of their body, their level of proprioception and how they felt in their body and in connection with the other person. In order to give value to the lived experience of the participant, a phenomenological method described and developed by Professor Claire Petitmengin has been used. This strategy allowed the interviewees to become aware of their subjective experience, and describe it with great precision. This is essential in order to understand the actual state of consciousness of the users. Our aim is to research the senses of proprioception, touch, and proximity: as they all involve a pre-reflective state of consciousness, they are central for the understanding of human perception. The interviews revealed how this experience could improve and increase proprioception and awareness of your body.

Keywords: phenomenology, proprioception, interactive sound, pre-reflective, subjective experience

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12 Embodied Cognition as a Concept of Educational Neuroscience and Phenomenology

Authors: Elham Shirvani-Ghadikolaei

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In this paper, we examine the connection between the human mind and body within the framework of Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. We study the role of this connection in designing more efficient learning environments, alongside the findings in physical recognition and educational neuroscience. Our research shows the interplay between the mind and the body in the external world and discusses its implications. Based on these observations, we make suggestions as to how the educational system can benefit from taking into account the interaction between the mind and the body in educational affairs.

Keywords: phenomenology, Embodied Cognition, educational neurosciences, pedagogical neurosciences

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11 A Phenomenological Framework of Unconscious Cognition on Judicial Decision Making

Authors: Mariam Shah

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This paper will examine the potential influence and role of unconscious cognition on judicial decision making. The theoretical underpinnings of this paper rest on phenomenological theory grounded predominantly in Schutzian phenomenology. Aspects of Husserlian and Gadamerian phenomenology will be included within the phenomenological framework put forward in this paper, in an attempt to provide a more complete and thorough account of how unconscious cognition can influence judicial decision making. This paper has far reaching implications, as the framework provides a foundation for unconscious cognitive factors which can work to influence decision making more generally.

Keywords: Decision Making, phenomenology, Judicial Decision Making, Gadamer, Gadamerian, Husserl, Husserlian, Schutz, Schutzian

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10 'Typical' Criminals: A Schutzian Influenced Theoretical Framework Exploring Type and Stereotype Formation

Authors: Mariam Shah

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The way the human mind interprets and comprehends the world it occupies has long been a topic of discussion amongst philosophers and phenomenologists. This paper will focus predominantly on the ideologies espoused by the phenomenologist Alfred Schutz and will investigate how we attribute meaning to an event through the process of typification, and the production and usage of ‘types' and ‘stereotypes.' This paper will then discuss how subjective ideologies innate within us result in unique and subjective decision outcomes, based on a phenomenologically influenced theoretical framework which will illustrate how we form ‘types’ in order to ‘typecast’ and form judgements of everything and everyone we experience. The framework used will be founded in theory espoused by Alfred Schutz, and will review the different types of knowledge we rely on innately to inform our judgements, the relevance we attribute to the information which we acquire, and how we consciously and unconsciously apply this framework to everyday situations. An assessment will then be made of the potential impact that these subjective meaning structures can present when dispensing justice in criminal courts. This paper will investigate how these subjective meaning structures can influence our consciousness on both a conscious and unconscious level, and how this could potentially result in bias judicial outcomes due to negative ‘types’ or ‘stereotypes.' This paper will ultimately illustrate that we unconsciously and unreflexively use pre-formed types and stereotypes to inform our judgements and give meaning to what we have just experienced.

Keywords: Decision Making, phenomenology, types, Judicial Decision Making, Alfred Schutz, criminal courts, Schutzian stereotypes, typification

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9 Stereotypical Perception as an Influential Factor in the Judicial Decision Making Process for Shoplifting Cases Presided over in the UK

Authors: Mariam Shah

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Stereotypes are not generally considered to be an acceptable influence upon any decision making process, particularly those involving judicial decision making outcomes. Yet, we are confronted with an uncomfortable truth that stereotypes may be operating to influence judicial outcomes. Variances in sentencing outcomes are not easily explained away by criminological, psychological, or sociological theorem, but may be answered via qualitative research produced within the field of phenomenology. This paper will examine the current literature pertaining to the effect of stereotypes on the criminal justice system within the UK, and will also discuss what the implications are for stereotypical influences upon decision making in the criminal justice system. This paper will give particular focus to shoplifting offences dealt with in UK criminal courts, but this research has long reaching implications for the criminal process more generally.

Keywords: Decision Making, phenomenology, Judicial Decision Making, stereotypes, Shoplifting

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8 The Phenomenology in the Music of Debussy through Inspiration of Western and Oriental Culture

Authors: Yu-Shun Elisa Pong

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Music aesthetics related to phenomenology is rarely discussed and still in the ascendant while multi-dimensional discourses of philosophy were emerged to be an important trend in the 20th century. In the present study, a basic theory of phenomenology from Edmund Husserl (1859-1938) is revealed and discussed followed by the introduction of intentionality concepts, eidetic reduction, horizon, world, and inter-subjectivity issues. Further, phenomenology of music and general art was brought to attention by the introduction of Roman Ingarden’s The Work of Music and the Problems of its Identity (1933) and Mikel Dufrenne’s The Phenomenology of Aesthetic Experience (1953). Finally, Debussy’s music will be analyzed and discussed from the perspective of phenomenology. Phenomenology is not so much a methodology or analytics rather than a common belief. That is, as much as possible to describe in detail the different human experience, relative to the object of purpose. Such idea has been practiced in various guises for centuries, only till the early 20th century Phenomenology was better refined through the works of Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and others. Debussy was born in an age when the Western society began to accept the multi-cultural baptism. With his unusual sensitivity to the oriental culture, Debussy has presented considerable inspiration, absorption, and echo in his music works. In fact, his relationship with nature is far from echoing the idea of Chinese ancient literati and nature. Although he is not the first composer to associate music with human and nature, the unique quality and impact of his works enable him to become a significant figure in music aesthetics. Debussy’s music tried to develop a quality analogous of nature, and more importantly, based on vivid life experience and artistic transformation to achieve the realm of pure art. Such idea that life experience comes before artwork, either clear or vague, simple or complex, was later presented abstractly in his late works is still an interesting subject worth further discussion. Debussy’s music has existed for more than or close to a century. It has received musicology researcher’s attention as much as other important works in the history of Western music. Among the pluralistic discussion about Debussy’s art and ideas, phenomenological aesthetics has enlightened new ideas and view angles to relook his great works and even gave some previous arguments legitimacy. Overall, this article provides a new insight of Debussy’s music from phenomenological exploration and it is believed phenomenology would be an important pathway in the research of the music aesthetics.

Keywords: phenomenology, Debussy's music, music esthetics, oriental culture

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7 Male Bodies and Philosophy of Sexual Difference: A Sketch for an Impossible 'Becoming-Man'

Authors: Ovidiu Anemtoaicei

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This paper offers a possible answer to the question of what it means to think about men and masculinities through the philosophy of sexual difference as developed by Luce Irigaray, employing Gilles Deleuze’s concept of 'critique' and arguing, at the same time, for a concept of 'becoming-man' as an expression of this answer. First, while examining the nature of the role of male bodies underlying the theorizing of men and masculinities in the field of the Critical Studies of Men and Masculinities, the paper argues for a turn to sexual difference theory as an answer to the 'gap' between the representations on male bodies and their participation in thought and masculine subjective production. Secondly, sharing Luce Irigaray’s critique of Western thought, the paper explores alternative morphological bodily 'locations' for rethinking male imaginary in relation to male embodiments, on the one hand, and in relation to the maternal and the feminine, on the other hand. Thirdly, the paper develops the idea that a phenomenologically-influenced approach towards male bodies might be productive, especially when thought through Irigaray’s sexual difference as a relational and experiential ontology. Finally, while showing that Irigaray and Deleuze share a similar critique of Western philosophical thought and of the masculine historical subject, it proposes a rethinking of the concept of 'becoming-man' as an assemblage meeting between Irigaray’s theory of sexual difference and Deleuze and Guattari’s nomadologic project, as a possibility of thinking change in men’s masculine subjective constitution in relation to both women and other men. As far as the ethical implications of such rethinking are concerned, the paper urges for the cultivation of a masculine culture of stepping back and its constitutive political, social and cultural practices so as to make possible the construction of new spaces that would allow for the becoming of at least two subjects based on the respect for their differences.

Keywords: phenomenology, Masculinities, feminist philosophy, Sexual Difference, male bodies

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6 Public Bus Transport Passenger Safety Evaluations in Ghana: A Phenomenological Constructivist Exploration

Authors: Tom Brijs, Geert Wets, Enoch F. Sam, Kris Brijs, Stijn Daniels

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Notwithstanding the growing body of literature that recognises the importance of personal safety to public transport (PT) users, it remains unclear what PT users consider regarding their safety. In this study, we explore the criteria PT users in Ghana use to assess bus safety. This knowledge will afford a better understanding of PT users’ risk perceptions and assessments which may contribute to theoretical models of PT risk perceptions. We utilised phenomenological research methodology, with data drawn from 61 purposively sampled participants. Data collection (through focus group discussions and in-depth interviews) and analyses were done concurrently to the point of saturation. Our inductive data coding and analyses through the constant comparison and content analytic techniques resulted in 4 code categories (conceptual dimensions), 27 codes (safety items/criteria), and 100 quotations (data segments). Of the number of safety criteria participants use to assess bus safety, vehicle condition, driver’s marital status, and transport operator’s safety records were the most considered. With each criterion, participants rightly demonstrated its respective relevance to bus safety. These findings imply that investment in and maintenance of safer vehicles, and responsible and safety-conscious drivers, and prioritization of passengers’ safety are key-targets for public bus/minibus operators in Ghana.

Keywords: phenomenology, Ghana, passengers, safety evaluations, public bus/minibus

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5 Self-Determination and Mental Disorders: Phenomenological Approach

Authors: Neringa Bagdonaitė

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Background: The main focus of this paper is to explore how self-determination interplays in suicidal and addictive context leading one to autonomously choose self-destructive addictive behaviour or suicidal intentions. Methods: Phenomenological descriptions of the experiential structure of self-determination in addiction and suicidal mental life are used. The phenomenological method describes structures of mental life from the first-person-perspective, with a focus on how an experienced object is given in a subject’s conscious experience. Results: A sense of self-determination in the context of suicidal and addictive behaviour is possibly impaired. In the context of suicide, it's proposed that suicide is always experienced at least minimally self-determined, as it's the last freely discovered self-efficient behaviour, in terms of radically changing one's desperate mental state. Suicide can never be experienced as fully self-determined because no future retrospective re-evaluation of behaviour is possible. Understanding self-determination in addiction is challenging because addicts perceive themselves and experience situations differently depending on: (I) their level of intoxication; (II) whether the situation is in the moment or in retrospect; and (III) the goals set out in that situation. Furthermore, within phenomenology addiction is described as an embodied custom, which‘s acquired and established while performing 'psychotropic technique'. The main goal of performing such a technique is to continue 'floating in an indifference state' or being 'comfortably numb'. Conclusions: Based on rich phenomenological descriptions of the studied phenomenon, this paper draws on the premise that to experience self-determination in both suicide and addiction, underlying desperate or negative emotional states are needed. Such underlying desperate or negative mental life experiences are required for one to pre-reflectively evaluate suicide or addictive behaviours as positive, relieving or effective in terms of changing one's emotional states. Such pre-reflective positive evaluations serve as the base for the continuation of behaviour and later are identified reflectively.

Keywords: Addiction, phenomenology, Suicide, Self-Determination, self-effectivity

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4 Existential Affordances and Psychopathology: A Gibsonian Analysis of Dissociative Identity Disorder

Authors: S. Alina Wang

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A Gibsonian approach is used to understand the existential dimensions of the human ecological niche. Then, this existential-Gibsonian framework is applied to rethinking Hacking’s historical analysis of multiple personality disorder. This research culminates in a generalized account of psychiatric illness from an enactivist lens. In conclusion, reflections on the implications of this account on approaches to psychiatric treatment are mentioned. J.J. Gibson’s theory of affordances centered on affordances of sensorimotor varieties, which guide basic behaviors relative to organisms’ vital needs and physiological capacities (1979). Later theorists, notably Neisser (1988) and Rietveld (2014), expanded on the theory of affordances to account for uniquely human activities relative to the emotional, intersubjective, cultural, and narrative aspects of the human ecological niche. This research shows that these affordances are structured by what Haugeland (1998) calls existential commitments, which draws on Heidegger’s notion of dasein (1927) and Merleau-Ponty’s account of existential freedom (1945). These commitments organize the existential affordances that fill an individual’s environment and guide their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. This system of a priori existential commitments and a posteriori affordances is called existential enactivism. For humans, affordances do not only elicit motor responses and appear as objects with instrumental significance. Affordances also, and possibly primarily, determine so-called affective and cognitive activities and structure the wide range of kinds (e.g., instrumental, aesthetic, ethical) of significances of objects found in the world. Then existential enactivism is applied to understanding the psychiatric phenomenon of multiple personality disorder (precursor of the current diagnosis of dissociative identity disorder). A reinterpretation of Hacking’s (1998) insights into the history of this particular disorder and his generalizations on the constructed nature of most psychiatric illness is taken on. Enactivist approaches sensitive to existential phenomenology can provide a deeper understanding of these matters. Conceptualizing psychiatric illness as strictly a disorder in the head (whether parsed as a disorder of brain chemicals or meaning-making capacities encoded in psychological modules) is incomplete. Rather, psychiatric illness must also be understood as a disorder in the world, or in the interconnected networks of existential affordances that regulate one’s emotional, intersubjective, and narrative capacities. All of this suggests that an adequate account of psychiatric illness must involve (1) the affordances that are the sources of existential hindrance, (2) the existential commitments structuring these affordances, and (3) the conditions of these existential commitments. Approaches to treatment of psychiatric illness would be more effective by centering on the interruption of normalized behaviors corresponding to affordances targeted as sources of hindrance, the development of new existential commitments, and the practice of new behaviors that erect affordances relative to these reformed commitments.

Keywords: Psychiatry, phenomenology, Psychopathology, Affordance, enaction

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3 Dao Embodied – Embodying Dao: The Body as Locus of Personal Cultivation in Ancient Daoist and Confucian Philosophy

Authors: Geir Sigurðsson

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This paper compares ancient Daoist and Confucian approaches to the human body as a locus for learning, edification or personal cultivation. While pointing out some major differences between ancient Chinese and mainstream Western visions of the body, it seeks at the same time inspiration in some seminal Western phenomenological and post-structuralist writings, in particular from Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Pierre Bourdieu. By clarifying the somewhat dissimilar scopes of foci found in Daoist and Confucian philosophies with regard to the role of and attitude to the body, the conclusion is nevertheless that their approaches are comparable, and that both traditions take the physical body to play a vital role in the cultivation of excellence. Lastly, it will be argued that cosmological underpinnings prevent the Confucian li from being rigid and invariable and that it rather emerges as a flexible learning device to train through active embodiment a refined sensibility for one’s cultural environment.

Keywords: phenomenology, body, Confucianism, Daoism, li (ritual)

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2 Stories of Digital Technology and Online Safety: Storytelling as a Tool to Find out Young Children’s Views on Digital Technology and Online Safety

Authors: Lindsey Watson

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This research is aimed at facilitating and listening to the voices of younger children, recognising their contributions to research about the things that matter to them. Digital technology increasingly impacts on the lives of young children, therefore this study aimed at increasing children’s agency through recognising and involving their perspectives to help contribute to a wider understanding of younger children’s perceptions of online safety. Using a phenomenological approach, the paper discusses how storytelling as a creative methodological approach enabled an agentic space for children to express their views, knowledge, and perceptions of their engagement with the digital world. Setting and parental informed consent were gained in addition to an adapted approach to child assent through the use of child-friendly language and emoji stickers, which was also recorded verbally. Findings demonstrate that younger children are thinking about many aspects of digital technology and how this impacts on their lives and that storytelling as a research method is a useful tool to facilitate conversations with young children. The paper thus seeks to recognise and evaluate how creative methodologies can provide insights into children’s understanding of online safety and how this can influence practitioners and parents in supporting younger children in a digital world.

Keywords: Early Childhood, phenomenology, Family, storytelling, online safety

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1 Food Security and Mental Health: A Qualitative Exploration of Mediating Factors in Rural and Urban Ghana

Authors: Emma Mathias

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The aim of this study was to explore the role of food insecurity as a mediator of mental health in sub-Saharan Africa, taking Ghana as a case study. Although a quantitative correlation has recently been established between food insecurity and mental illness in Ghana, the nature and validity of this correlation remains unclear. A qualitative exploration was employed to investigate this correlation further. During the data collection period, twelve semi-structured interviews and five focus groups were conducted with a total of 124 individuals who were diagnosed with mental illnesses and their primary carers throughout rural and urban areas in Ghana. Interviews and focus groups were transcribed, translated, and analysed using thematic analysis. Preliminary results suggest that food insecurity may plays a role in mental illness in rural areas of Ghana where communities are reliant on agriculture for their livelihoods, but may play a lesser role in urban areas where communities are more reliant on petty trade as a source of livelihood. These results support psychosocial theories which suggest that the social and cultural factors involved in food production and consumption may be the key mediators between food insecurity and mental health.

Keywords: Mental Health, phenomenology, food insecurity, Ghana

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