Skip to main content

Getting into it in the wrong way: Interpretative phenomenological analysis and the hermeneutic circle.

Gyollai, D., 2020. Getting into it in the wrong way: Interpretative phenomenological analysis and the hermeneutic circle. Nursing Philosophy, 21 (2), e12294.

Full text available as:

NUP_Accepted version.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial.


DOI: 10.1111/nup.12294


This article critically analyses the hermeneutic commitment of interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA). In the theoretical framework of IPA, the role of preconceptions and prejudices is consistently downplayed; priority is given to the participant's own words. Paley has argued that IPA’s interpretative phase is always and necessarily determined by the researcher's fore-conceptions, as opposed to the participant's narrative. I demonstrate that IPA’s failure to recognize the importance of an external frame of reference in interpretation may arise from the misunderstanding of the method's hermeneutic underpinnings. I essentially argue that bracketing the researcher's fore-conceptions during the initial phases of IPA is merely an illusion. While it is beyond the scope of this article to dispute whether IPA is genuinely phenomenological, my claim ultimately poses a challenge to IPA’s phenomenological commitment on its own terms. The article concludes with a proposal to substantially improve IPA’s consistency with hermeneutic tradition and its grounding in phenomenological philosophy.

Item Type:Article
Additional Information:Funding information: The author receives funding from European Commission funded Horizon 2020 project RESPOND: Multilevel Governance of Mass Migration in Europe and Beyond (2017-2020).
Uncontrolled Keywords:Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis, Heidegger, Gadamer, bracketing, hermeneutic circle, fusion of horizons
Group:Faculty of Health & Social Sciences
ID Code:36330
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:06 Dec 2021 16:56
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:30


Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...
Repository Staff Only -