Category: Edition 2 - November 2018
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 18, Edition 2 (November 2018) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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My sixteen-year term as Editor-in-Chief of the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology has been not only a spiral learning curve, requiring constant adaptation to new editorial norms and requirements along with the ever-changing horizons of the field of phenomenology, but – above all – meaningful, inspiring, energizing and positively challenging.
The Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology saw its first publication in 2001 after the need for such a forum for the southern hemisphere had been envisaged by the Phenomenological Research Group ...


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pdf.png Recovering the Moment - By Kenton Engel  

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What is a moment? While Heidegger considers the moment (Augenblick) hermeneutically in the first division of Being and Time¸ he abandons the thoroughly hermeneutic account in an ecstatic analysis of time in the second. In this paper, I explore the moment in the direction of hermeneutic temporality and finite comprehensibility. I begin by describing how Heidegger’s ecstatic analysis by its very nature forecloses the possibility of the average, everyday constitution of the moment. I then attempt a broader recovery of hermeneutic temporality, specifically instantiated in Gadamer’s temporality of the festival. In so doing, I hope to re-establish the Augenblick as the moment of finite comprehensibility.


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pdf.png Experiences of Online Closeness in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) - By Luis Francisco Vargas-Madriz  

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In virtual learning environments (VLEs) students often find themselves in front of a computer, looking at a bright screen, interacting with classmates and teachers through a keyboard and a mouse, and, in most cases, listening and watching someone who is not physically present. Virtual components (or even an entirely online classroom) are not rare, and growing concern is currently surfacing about students’ potential feeling of isolation, which has been found to increase educational barriers such as lack of motivation or engagement, or poor academic achievement. We may therefore begin to wonder whether VLE allows for the necessary interpersonal involvement required for learning. Using a qualitative phenomenological research methodology called phenomenology of practice, the aim of this study was to understand what it is like to experience a sense of closeness to others in a VLE. Data was gathered by means of in-depth phenomenological interviews with five adult university students recruited via snowball sampling who had previous experience in VLE settings. The findings revealed that students may experience closeness with their classmates and teachers when they suddenly look beyond the superficial technological hurdles and find the humanity in the virtual others, when they share a difficult group experience, or when they create a personal virtual space. This study showed that closeness is indeed essential in education, and that even online we repeatedly find ourselves in a continuum of closeness to others, moving from an experience of togetherness to an experience of loneliness, or vice versa.


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pdf.png “Men don’t cry”: An Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis of Black South African Men’s Experience of Divorce - By Kudakwashe C. Muchena, Greg Howcroft and Louise A. Stroud  

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The decision to divorce marks a turning point for every individual involved. It can be viewed as more than just a legal process. From a psychological perspective, it does not matter who initiated the divorce, since it always comes with emotional ramifications for all those involved. Statistically, there is a high rate of divorce in South Africa and there have been significant shifts in trends over time. While black South African men’s experience of divorce has been relatively neglected in the research on divorce, it is important for understanding contemporary social arrangements and processes, and, in particular, for broadening the understanding of black South African men’s lives. How black South African men describe their experience and respond to marital dissolution may point to their positions in the gender-structured community as well as illuminate how they interpret the nature of social practice, marriage, divorce and their position in society. The aim of the research reported on in this paper was to explore black South African men’s experience of divorce. The theoretical framework underpinning this qualitative study was broadly that of Symbolic Interactionism, with Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) employed as both the research design and data analytic theory and process. The eight participants were volunteers who were recruited purposively. In keeping with IPA guidelines, data-collection proceeded by means of biographical questionnaires and semi-structured interviews. The emerging themes were grouped into three superordinate themes, namely, perceptions of divorce, social support, and experiencing of pain. Each superordinate theme had corresponding subordinate themes and experiential claims. Weed’s (2008) recommendations for the interpretative synthesis of interview data were applied.


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pdf.png Feeling Guilty by Being In-Between Family and Work: The Lived Experience of Female Academics - By Agnė Kudarauskienė and Vilma Žydžiūnaitė  

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In higher education, scientists live and breathe their work every single day, providing the conditions for potential conflict between professional and family life. This phenomenological inquiry explores the question: “How do female university academics experience being between the family and work responsibilities in their daily activities?” Twelve male and female academics from different scientific/ research fields participated in the study. Phenomenological analysis of the interviews with female academics revealed the challenges they face in reconciling family and work commitments. The emerging themes include experience of feeling guilty by prioritizing their research, aligning family holidays with academic conferences, automating activity, compelling the body and mind to work in a different mode, and doing housework alongside academic activity – all of which reveal the bodily presence of female academics between two important areas of life without having a clear focus on either one of them. This study showed that, while increasing equality in the work sphere has unified the opportunities of men and women, female academics still experience conflict between family and work, as well as a feeling of guilt, when they talk about significant moments in their own experience of the university environment.


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pdf.png Clients’ Experience of Therapist-Disclosure: Helpful and Hindering Factors and Conditions - By Lorato Kenosi and Duncan Cartwright  

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In psychotherapy, the norm and expectation is for clients to self-disclose, thus disregarding and discouraging self-disclosure by therapists. This study aimed to investigate clients’ subjective experience of therapist disclosure, and in particular how clients interpret, appraise and react to therapist disclosure, using semi-structured interviews to gather data from eight research participants. By means of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) of the data three basic themes were revealed: (1) perceived underlying conditions of the disclosure event, (2) disclosure type and (3) disclosure impacts. The findings indicate that the underlying conditions surrounding the therapist’s disclosure are the determinant factor as to how clients experience therapist disclosure, regardless of either the disclosure type or the impact of the disclosure on clients’ lives.


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pdf.png A Curriculum of Inclusivity: Towards a “Lived-Body” and “Lived-Experience” Curriculum in South Africa - By Oscar Koopman and Karen Koopman  

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Drawing on Merleau-Ponty’s “lived body” theory, we argue for a shift towards a lived-experience and body-specific curriculum in South Africa. Such a curriculum would view learning as a lived, embodied, social and culturally contextualised field. Its central aim would be to draw the learner into a plane of consciousness conducive to being awakened to the act of learning through an attitude of full attention. We specifically use the term “body-specific” to imply, as opposed to a one-size-fits-all curriculum model, one in which lived experience and the “body” form the conceptual basis on which the curriculum is built. Consequently, we reject the orthodox cognitive conception of the curriculum which views learning as a mental exercise oriented towards the acquisition of pre-designed knowledge that is “outer fixed” and “inner constructed”. In contrast, we propose that learning should be outwardly constructed through lived experience and inwardly fixed (embodied) as knowledge develops against the pre-noetic background of the lived world. Underpinning this is the essentially Merleau-Pontian notion that the knowledge we hold originates from (i) our relationships with this world that are embodied in experience, and (ii) our engagements within society and culture. The “inner” and “outer” shift in learning infers a switch from pure, disciplinary, homogeneous, expert-led, supply-driven, hierarchical, peer-reviewed and almost exclusively university-based learning to experience-based, applied, problem-centred, trans-disciplinary, heterogeneous, hybrid, demand-driven learning. In such a curriculum, the role of the teacher would be to focus on how the world arranges itself around the learner and to guide learners to see how the world reveals itself to them through their personal lived experience.


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pdf.png Bringing Up Life With Horses - By Stephen J. Smith  

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A key phrase in working with horses, “bringing up life” is taken in its literal sense of moving expressively and energetically in order to animate the movements of the horses. The phrase also points to both what the radical phenomenologist Michel Henry referred to as the auto-affectivity of life and the vital powers of an essential hetero-affectivity. “Bringing up life” is the kinetic, kinaesthetic, affective expression of this fundamental impression that life is shared with other animate beings and that it is all the more powerfully felt for being so. Working with horses – in spite of all the human conceits that groundwork, liberty training, and the riding disciplines hold – can thus reveal what it means to “bring up life” as more than a topic of very practical interest and specific phenomenological description. Through the impressional investigation of this expression we may well begin to feel our way toward more life-affirming, life-enhancing interactions with others of our own and many other animal kinds.


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pdf.png From Place to Space: A Heideggerian Analysis - By Elizabeth Smythe, Deborah Spence and Jonathon Gray  

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In this paper, we pay attention to the impact on staff of what was a new place, Ko Awatea, within a large New Zealand hospital. The place became a space from within which a particular mood arose. This paper seeks to capture that mood and its impact. Using a Heideggerian hermeneutic approach, the study reported on drew on data from interviews with 20 staff. Philosophical notions about the nature and mood of place/space are explored. As staff claimed this space, the mood that emerged was of liveliness, buzz and comfort. It became a space where people wanted to be, where they met others, where conversations unfolded, where thinking happened in new ways. Staff places tend to be sacrificed or poorly resourced in resource-tight environments. We argue that creating a space that feels home-like, where staff come, linger and engage in community is a priority for generating the mood and thinking of an organization. Such spaces do not happen by chance; it takes forethought and intentionality. The gift of such space is the thinking that is sparked and grown.


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