Embedding reflexivity within experiential qualitative psychology

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In this article, it is argued that reflexivity is integral to experiential qualitative research in psychology. Reflexivity has been defined in many ways. Woolgar’s continuum of reflexivity though provides a useful gauge by which to judge whether a researcher is involved in simple reflection or reflexivity. The article demonstrates the benefits of adopting a reflexive attitude by presenting “challenge-to-competency.” The author’s encounter with Sarah will help illustrate the role of reflexivity both in data generation and in interpretative analysis. To close, it is proposed that reflexivity as hermeneutic reflection, with its grounding in hermeneutics and phenomenology, is a useful construct for guiding our engagement in reflexivity in experiential qualitative research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-243
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010

Bibliographical note

This is an electronic version of an article published in Shaw, Rachel L. (2004). Making sense of violence: a study of narrative meaning. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 1 (2), pp. 131-151. Qualitative Research in Psychology is available online at: http://www.informaworld.com/openurl?genre=article&issn=1478-0887&volume=7&issue=3&spage=233


  • hermeneutics
  • interpretative phenomenological analysis
  • phenomenology
  • reflexivity


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