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Heuristic Inquiry
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Heuristic Inquiry
Researching Human Experience Holistically



August 2018 | 320 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Focused on exploring human experience from an integrative perspective, Heuristic Inquiry: Researching Human Experience Holistically presents heuristic inquiry as a unique phenomenologically aligned, experiential, and relational approach to qualitative research that is also rigorous and evidence based. The author describes a distinguishing perspective of this research that treats participants not as subjects of research but rather as co-researchers in an exploratory process marked by genuineness and intersubjectivity. Through the use of real-life examples illustrating the various processes of heuristic research, the book offers an understanding of heuristic inquiry that is straightforward and informal yet honors its creative, intuitive, and polydimensional nature.


“A must-read for anyone interested in qualitative research.” 

Graham Bright, York St John University, UK

“This text provides a valuable service to novice and experienced researchers through its straightforward, yet complex and nuanced approach to heuristic inquiry.”

–Joseph McNabb, Northeastern University

 

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Preface
 
Acknowledgments
 
About the Author
 
Chapter 1: What Is Heuristic Inquiry, Anyway?
A Brief Recent History

 
The Purpose of Heuristic Inquiry

 
Essential Feature

 
• Exercise 1.1. Sensing Into and Expressing a Rough Understanding of Heuristic Inquiry

 
Processes and Phases

 
Limitations of Heuristic Inquiry

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 2: Locating Heuristic Inquiry Within Contemporary Qualitative Research
Relationship to Phenomenology

 
Bricolaging with Similar Qualitative Approaches

 
Grounded Theory

 
Essential and Distinguishing Features

 
Bricolaging Grounded Theory With Heuristic Inquiry

 
Narrative Research

 
Essential and Distinguishing Features

 
Bricolaging Narrative Research With Heuristic Inquiry

 
Feminist Research

 
Essential and Distinguishing Features

 
Bricolaging Feminist Research With Heuristic Inquiry

 
Closing Reflections

 
• Exercise 2.1. Exploring the Labyrinth

 
 
Chapter 3: Philosophical and Theoretical Foundations of Heuristic Inquiry
Why Do We Learn About Theory?

 
Heuristic Inquiry as an Empirical Process

 
• Exercise 3.1. Exploring the Subjectivity8Objectivity Continuum

 
Heuristic Inquiry as Qualitative Research

 
Heuristic Inquiry as Social Constructivism

 
Ontological Assumptions

 
Epistemological Assumptions

 
Axiological Assumptions

 
Methodological Assumptions

 
Rhetorical Assumptions

 
Heuristic Inquiry as “Phenomenologically Aligned”

 
Philosophers Whose Work Inspired Heuristic Inquiry

 
Edmund Husserl

 
Martin Buber

 
Carl Rogers

 
Abraham Maslow

 
Michael Polanyi

 
Eugene Gendlin

 
Maurice Merleau-Ponty

 
Closing Reflections

 
• Exercise 3.2. Exploring Other Ways of Being and of Knowing

 
 
Chapter 4: Heuristic Processes and Phases
The Seven Processes of Heuristic Inquiry

 
Identifying With the Focus of Inquiry

 
• Exercise 4.1. An Empty Chair Experiment to Facilitate Identifying With the Focus of Inquiry

 
Self-Dialogue

 
Tacit Knowing

 
Intuition

 
Indwelling

 
Focusing

 
The Internal Frame of Reference

 
• Exercise 4.2. Six-Step Focusing Exercise to Clear an Inner Space

 
The Six Phases of Heuristic Inquiry

 
Initial Engagement

 
Immersion

 
Incubation

 
Illumination

 
Explication

 
Creative Synthesis

 
The Heuristic Phases in Action

 
Maintaining a Heuristic Attitude During the Research Journey

 
• Exercise 4.3. Needs Self-Assessment Exercise

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 5: Heuristic Research Design
Becoming Aware of a Topic and Formulating the Research Question(s)

 
Conducting the Literature Review

 
Timing Your Literature Review

 
Reviewing the Literature

 
Preparing for the Study

 
Writing a Heuristic-Friendly IRB Proposal

 
Creating a Set of Guidelines for the Study

 
Creating Generic Content and Forms

 
Selecting, Inviting, and Securing Co-Researchers

 
General Sampling Considerations

 
Sample Size

 
Building Rapport and Trust

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 6: Heuristic Data Collection, Organization, and Analysis
Data Collection

 
Interviews

 
Preparing for the Interviews

 
Embodied Relational Interviewing

 
Disruptions in Flow

 
Time and Structure Considerations

 
Where and How

 
Researcher and Co-Researcher Artifacts

 
Researcher Journals

 
Winding Down Data Collection

 
Data Organization and Management

 
Immersion8Incubation8Reflexivity

 
Creating Verbatim Transcripts

 
Data Analysis: Theme Illumination and Identification

 
Following Clear Procedures

 
Honoring Content and Context

 
Deciphering Potential Themes

 
Organizing Themes According to Research Questions

 
Maintaining Discipline

 
Data Analysis: Theme Explication

 
Individual Depictions

 
Composite Depictions

 
Exemplary Portraits

 
Creative Synthesis

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 7: Relationality, Reflexivity, and Meaning-Making
Relationality

 
Shared Experiential Learning

 
Connecting, Disconnecting, and Reconnecting

 
Empathy, Resonance, and Intersubjectivity

 
Honoring Difference and Conflict

 
Negotiating Power and Privilege

 
Advancing Empowerment, Agency, and Social Justice

 
Reflexivity

 
Approaching Reflexivity Holistically

 
Evaluating Values, Beliefs, Biases, and Attitudes

 
• Exercise 7.1. Exploring Our Own and Others’ Values

 
Locating Oneself Within the Research Process

 
Demystifying the Role of the Researcher

 
Using the Journal as a Reflexive Tool

 
Meaning-Making

 
• Exercise 7.2. Exploring a Personal Dilemma Using the Reflexive Journal

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 8: Evaluating the Research: A Collaborative Process
A Primer on Heuristic Evaluation

 
Defining Rigor and Trustworthiness/Goodness

 
Evaluation Criteria

 
Credibility

 
Transferability

 
Dependability

 
Confirmability

 
Evaluation Strategies

 
Evaluating the Integrity of Your Heuristic Study

 
Heuristic Evaluation as a Shared Experience

 
The Importance of Reflexive Leadership in Evaluation

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 9: Writing a Living Manuscript: An Embodied Relational Approach
Components of a Heuristic Manuscript

 
Title

 
Abstract

 
Keywords

 
Introduction and Clear Articulation of Topic and Research Questions

 
Theoretical Framework

 
Rationale for the Study

 
Comprehensive but Concise Literature Review

 
Method

 
Co-Researchers

 
Materials and Procedure

 
Data Collection and Analysis

 
Findings

 
Discussion

 
Limitations

 
Conclusions and Future Directions

 
Embodied Relational Writing: Balancing Rigor With Intriguing Writing Style

 
• Exercise 9.1. Experimenting With Embodied Relational Writing

 
Promoting Social Justice, Action, and Transformation

 
Writing a Publishable Heuristic Manuscript

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 10: Ethics of Heuristic Research
Understanding Ethics

 
Core Ethical Principles and Codes

 
Facets of a Heuristic Study That May Prompt Ethical Concerns

 
Informed Consent

 
Research Methodology and Design

 
Relational Boundaries With Co-Researchers

 
Transparency

 
Researcher Competence

 
Addressing Emergent Ethical Dilemmas

 
Consulting Discipline-Related Ethical Codes

 
Using an Ethical Decision-Making Model

 
Engaging Researcher Reflexivity

 
• Exercise 10.1. Exploring and Addressing Emergent Ethical Dilemmas in Heuristic Research

 
The Perils of Researching Sensitive Topics: Maintaining Researcher Well-Being

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 11: Universal Applications of Heuristic Inquiry: Bridging Research and Living Experience
Using Heuristic Inquiry Formally in Various Disciplines

 
Education

 
Political Science and Government

 
Health Care

 
Conflict Transformation

 
Counseling and Psychotherapy

 
Engaging Heuristic Inquiry Informally

 
Closing Reflections

 
 
Chapter 12: An Ending8Beginning
 
Appendices
Appendix A: Sample Cover/Invitation Letter

 
Appendix B: Sample Demographic Information Form

 
Appendix C: Sample Informed Consent Form

 
Appendix D: Sample Instructions for Interview Meeting

 
Appendix E: Sample Semi-Structured Interview Protocol

 
Appendix F: Sample Semi-Structured Interview Protocol With Examples

 
Appendix G: Preparing for and Recording Interviews (Sample)

 
Appendix H: Open-Ended Relational Probing and Prompting

 
 
Glossary
 
References
 
Index

Heuristic Inquiry presents a valuable introduction to heuristic inquiry that is at the same time sophisticated and accessible. This is a valuable resource for those seeking to explore lived experience in a rigorous and reflexive way. It addresses a significant gap by presenting a refreshing, easy to follow introduction to this methodological approach, without compromising in rigor and sophistication.”

Gerardo Blanco Ramirez
University of Massachusetts, Boston

“This text creatively integrates research methods, therapeutic processes and the arts all in an insightful exploration of the human condition. It invites readers to reflect, meditate and think deeply about how to internalize the heuristic research process in order to uncover the truth of people's living experiences. Consequently, heuristic research opens our minds to new realms and possibilities for human inquiry.”

Claire Michele Rice
Nova Southeastern University

“This text provides a valuable service to novice and experienced researchers through its straightforward, yet complex and nuanced approach to heuristic inquiry.”

Joseph McNabb
Northeastern University

“This book offers a comprehensive overview of heuristic inquiry and provides an engaging, focused discussion of the methodological issues involved throughout all phases of the research process. Sultan provides an accessible and comprehensive guide for those designing and conducting heuristic inquiries.”

Angela Eckhoff
Old Dominion University

“Nevine Sultan has produced a work of remarkable depth, richness and vitality. Drawing on her own research, Sultan speaks with authenticity, clarity and rigor regarding the challenges and rewards of getting to grips with phenomena through co-creative processes. This text fills the long methodological void that has haunted the field since Moustakas’ Heuristic Research. A must-read for anyone interested in qualitative research.” 

Graham Bright
York St John University, UK

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ISBN: 9781506355481
£31.99

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