PHENOMENOLOGY: A viewer centered
theory with emphasis on personal experience. This perspective stresses
personal lived experience (i.e., embodied meaning). Meaning depends on
bodily perceptions and personal interpretations. The researcher seeks
to understand how people make sense of the world for themselves.
Paul Ricoeur: Discourse (is not
language but message). To study literature from a phenomenological approach
you need to define the boundaries of the idea of text (Ricouer,
1981, p. 90). The first boundary is a triangulation of Ð
one who speaks, Ð one who listens & answers, & Ð the world
of things which one talks about (Ricouer, 1981, p. 90).
A Phenomenology Interpretive Process: Set aside everyday way of seeing
and experience as though seeing the situation for the first time (recognize
& set aside observer's filters) by:
- Receptiveness (Recognize that
you have a strong personal response.)
- Orienting & Bracketing (Document
response noting what is unique to the experience)
- Grounding & Interpretative
Analysis (List observations - next to it list interpretive meanings.
This sets up a self-reflexive dialogue)
- Synthesis (Look for shared interpretations
within the context)
DECONSTRUCTION: is a semiotics-derived
analysis that reveals the multiplicity of potential meanings generated
by the discrepancy between the ostensible content of a text
(which may be a work of art) and the system of the visual, cultural, or
linguistic limits from which it springs.
- From this approach the researcher
acknowledges that any concept is based more in what it is NOT than what
- Two forms of deconstruction: Displace
to redefine, or displace and never define.
- Deconstruction is a process of
inverting to find meaning--it seeks to identify contradictory positions
and dismantle them. It exposes the relationship of differences in relation
to object/subject studies. It is a process to permanently contest a
site of meaning. The subject/object relationship is perpetually
destabilized in the wake of an increasing number of possible (re) presentations
(Elam, 1994, p. 30).
- Perpetual displacement as an inquiry
tool maintains the uncertainty of naming and defining and it continually
raises the question, "Who gets to name what?".
- Deconstruction is at odds with
- Deconstruction challenges
the phenomenological claims which have often served as the foundation
of feminism. That is to say, deconstruction argues that we will not
become conscious of the true essence of woman through an endless recourse
to descriptions of experiences of or by women (Elam, 1994, p.
- Deconstruction concerns issues
of difference (social, racial, sexual) to acknowledge without reinforcing
or denying conflict with the other.
- Elam argues that feminist
analysis must be a deconstruction of representation that keeps the category
of women incessantly in question, as a permanently contested site of
meaning (1994, p. 41).