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Postcritical Existential Phenomenology

Postcritical Existential Phenomenology

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This paper explores postcritical existential phenomenology as a method to explore experiences of empowerment and liberation in progressive social change organizations.
This paper explores postcritical existential phenomenology as a method to explore experiences of empowerment and liberation in progressive social change organizations.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: Jessica R. Dreistadt on Oct 24, 2011
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04/29/2012

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PHENOMENOLOGY 1Phenomenology: A Method to Explore Experiences of Empowerment and Liberation inProgressive Social Change OrganizationsJessica R. DreistadtLEAD 870 Qualitative Research MethodsEastern UniversityOctober 16, 2011
 
PHENOMENOLOGY 2Phenomenology: A Method to Explore Experiences of Empowerment and Liberation inProgressive Social Change Organizations
Introduction
Progressive social change organizations empower individuals and groups tochange the social structures that affect their everyday lives. This phenomenon isunderexplored in the literature yet could reveal important to galvanize and catalyzethese organizations. A postcritical existential phenomenological research study could beused to illuminate the meaning of these experiences. After establishing a basicunderstanding of the breadth of phenomenological research and providing additionaldetails about empowerment and liberation, selection of this particular approach will beexplained.
Phenomenological Research
Phenomenology is not often used in the discipline of leadership (Klenke, 2008).Yet, it has the potential to illuminate greater understanding of the various socialphenomena encompassed in its practice. Phenomenology was developed within thefield of philosophy but is used across many disciplines. While there are two dominantbranches, descriptive and existential phenomenology, there are many variations onthese traditions.
History
Phenomenology has roots in ancient Greek philosophy (Allen, 1982; Vivilaki and
 
PHENOMENOLOGY 3Johnson, 2008; Williams, 1954). It emerged as both a product of, and response to, theEnlightenment during World War I (Klenke, 2008). The foundational canon was primarilydeveloped by German and French philosophers in the early- through mid-20
th
century.
Prominent theorists who contributed to phenomenology‟s emergence and development
include Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Moustakas, Schutz, Garfinkel, andGadamer. The two main branches are
Husserl‟s descriptive phenomenology andHeidegger‟s existential phenomenology.
 During the Enlightenment, rationalism gained prevalence in the academy(Vahabzadeh, 2009). Husserl articulated the first method of phenomenology toscientifically structure philosophical thought (Seigfried, 1976; Giorgi, 2008) resulting inthe descriptive tradition of this method. The researcher, according to Husserl, should beobjective and not consider her- or himself during the research process (Conklin, 2007).Husserl emphasized cognitive processes (Smith, Flowers, & Larkin, 2009). For Husserl,
consciousness mediates an individual‟s experience of reality and the phenomenon itself 
(Moore, 1942). His research process consisted of three steps: reduction, description,and revelation of essences (Giorgi, 1997). Reduction is the process of thinking aboutthe phenomena through various lenses to move the researcher from personalassumptions to the essence of the phenomenon (Smith et al., 2009). While Husserl was
critical of objectivism (O‟Neill, 1972) and his conceptualization of phenomenologybridged realism with Brentano‟s ideas about perception (Moore, 1942), later 
phenomenological scholars would push the method toward even greater subjectivityHeidegger introduced hermeneutics and existentialism to phenomenology (Smith

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