Social Work and Hermeneutic Phenomenology
Keywords:hermeneutics, interpretation, phenomenology, social work
In this article, I discuss the connections between social work practice and interpretive approaches to knowledge building, introduce and situate hermeneutic phenomenology for novice social work researchers, and explore the fit between hermeneutic phenomenology and social work.Â This paper also presents a historical, methodological, and philosophical overview of the roots of hermeneutic/interpretive phenomenology from Augustine to Sartre.Â I advocate for the congruence between an hermeneutic approach and social work research due to its focus on inquiry as application, emphasis on the situated nature of human experiences, concept of attention to the unspoken or undisclosed, idea of the hermeneutic circle as a link between individual experiences and larger structures, fusion of horizons, and inclusion of the practitioner identity in research activities.
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