Absence of other and disruption of self: an interpretative phenomenological analysis of the meaning of loneliness in the context of life in a religious community

Valeria Motta, Michael Larkin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) is an idiographic approach to qualitative research. It is widely used in psychologically-informed studies which aim to understand the meaning and context of specific experiences. In this paper, we provide some background and introduction to the principles and processes underpinning IPA research. We extend this via a practical example, reporting on selected analyses from a study which explores the phenomenology and meaning of loneliness, through interviews conducted with a group of religious women. Through our observations on the complex role of absence for loneliness, we show that IPA can be a powerful tool for exploring and understanding the meaning of salient experiences. We reflect on the significance of the results for advancing theories of loneliness; and on the capacity of the IPA approach to provide researchers with an important and useful phenomenological perspective, through its emphasis on context, and its commitment to integrating convergent and divergent claims.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences
Early online date13 Jun 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 13 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

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