Category: Editions 1 & 2 - October 2016
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 16, Editions 1 & 2 (October 2016) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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Three thought-provoking articles I recently came across comment on the way in which the changing nature of academic publishing and bibliographic data bases has impacted on the traditional structure and content of editorials. Traditionally, the editorial in a scholarly journal has been aimed at introducing, and in the process reflecting on, the papers included in the edition for which it is intended, relating the thrust of these to the broader discipline and debate in the field. ...


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pdf.png Investigating the Experiences of Special School Visual Arts Teachers: An Illustration of Phenomenological Methods and Analysis - By Cheung On Tam  

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This paper reports on a recent hermeneutic phenomenological study aimed at understanding the experiences of special school teachers in Hong Kong, and specifically visual arts teachers tasked with teaching students with intellectual disabilities. Illustrating the use of a phenomenological research method, the paper outlines the methodology and procedure followed in respect of determining the source of data, conducting phenomenological interviews, and formulating themes. The themes that emerged from the interviews were examined in conjunction with the stories told by the teachers. The special school visual arts teachers who participated in this study have strong emotional and personal connections with their students. In relation to performing their teaching role, the teachers had experienced problems of various kinds, with many of these problems unique to the special school settings. In an effort to tackle these problems and improve their teaching, these teachers engaged in reflection and explored a variety of ways to enhance their students’ learning. Despite the practical learning problems their students experience, the teachers maintained that studying visual arts is beneficial to their students’ whole-person development. The paper concludes with a critical reflection on the nature of teaching visual arts to students with intellectual disabilities.


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pdf.png Images of Psychoanalysis: A Phenomenological Study of Medical Students’ Sense of Psychoanalysis Before and After a Four-Week Elective Course - By Maurice Apprey  

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In concept, an image has both verticality and horizontal dimensions. Saturated images within this space have a horizon and can exceed that horizon. Within that horizon where the image dwells something chances itself upon the observer and the observed. Into that public space between self and other, students bring an instrumental approach to how they plan to deploy their new fund of knowledge, only to discover that the setting itself has become an event where surprise and upheaval disrupt their illusion of self-continuity and the façade of familiarity. Phenomenologically, upheaval shows itself when givenness both precedes and participates in the giving of phenomena such as medical students’ “before and after” images of psychoanalysis. They discover and reconfigure their erstwhile absolute positions and values into reconfigurations of self and prior commitments. The turning point from their instrumental use of knowledge to reconfigurations of how they situate themselves in the world decisively comes when teaching and learning become an event in se that disturbs their sense of order.
Following Husserl, phenomenological psychological observation has required us to go from the events of history to a sense of history. Would, however, that we could stay at the level of events much longer to see images explode and exceed their horizons from the illusion of order, and patterned repetition disrupted by surprise, upheaval and indeterminacy in the spirit of Alain Badiou!


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pdf.png Doing it Differently: Engaging Interview Participants with Imaginative Variation - By Emma L. Turley, Surya Monro and Nigel King  

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The phenomenological technique of imaginative variation was identified by Husserl (1936/1970) as conducive to elucidating the manner in which phenomena appear to consciousness. In brief, by engaging in the phenomenological reduction and using imaginative variation, phenomenologists are able to describe the experience of consciousness, having stepped outside of the natural attitude through the epoché. Imaginative variation is a stage aimed at explicating the structures of experience more distinctively, and is best described as a mental experiment. Features of the experience are imaginatively altered in order to view the phenomenon under investigation from varying perspectives. Husserl envisaged this process as ultimately definitive of the essential elements of an experience, as only those aspects that are invariant to the experience of the phenomenon will not be able to change through the variation.
Often in qualitative research interviews, participants struggle to articulate or verbalise their experiences. The purpose of this paper is to present a radically novel way of using imaginative variation as an interview technique by engaging the participants in imaginative variation in order to elicit a richly detailed and insightful experiential account of a phenomenon. We will discuss how the first author successfully used imaginative variation in this way in her study of the erotic experience of bondage, discipline, dominance and submission, and sadism and masochism (BDSM), before considering the usefulness of this technique when applied to areas of study beyond human sexuality.


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pdf.png Exploring the Salience of Intergenerational Trauma among Children and Grandchildren of Victims of Apartheid-Era Gross Human Rights Violations - By Cyril Kenneth Adonis  

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Apartheid, as a systemised and institutionalised process of race-based discrimination, exploitation and oppression, left in its wake a deeply traumatised society. Many feel that this collective trauma has not been sufficiently addressed and that this has rendered the peace achieved after Apartheid’s demise increasingly fragile. In addition to this, we are reminded that traumatic memories affect not only those who have personally experienced conflict and violence, but also future generations through what is known as intergenerational transmission of trauma. This paper explores the salience of intergenerational trauma in South Africa. At a conceptual level, it is framed by the life course perspective and historical trauma theory. Methodologically, a hermeneutic phenomenological approach was utilised. Qualitative interviews were conducted with 20 children and grandchildren (females = 10, males = 10) of victims of Apartheid-era gross human rights violations. The interview data was subjected to an interpretative analytical process that yielded a number of themes which provide support for the salience of intergenerational trauma amongst descendants of victims of Apartheid-era gross human rights violations. These themes – secondary traumatisation, socio- economic and material impact, and sense of powerlessness and helplessness – are discussed along with their possible implications, and foci for further research pointed to.


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pdf.png Evidence and/or Experience-Based Knowledge in Lifestyle Treatment of Patients Diagnosed as Obese? - By Karen Synne Groven and Kristin Heggen  

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Proceeding from a phenomenological perspective, this study investigates how physiotherapists’ experience-based knowledge acquires significance in their encounters with patients diagnosed as obese. Presenting the thematic accounts of three physiotherapists, this paper illuminates how they make use of experiences from both their own life as well as experiences from learning and doing physiotherapy. This multifaceted experience-based knowledge is significant for making individual adjustments in a group-based programme. In line with these findings, the authors question whether the therapeutic method itself can be given such a prime position in defining best evidence in evidence-based practice. In concluding, they call for a re-consideration of the term evidence. More precisely, it is argued that what will be “effective” therapy for a person diagnosed as obese cannot be reduced to external evidence.


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pdf.png Nietzsche Contra God: A Battle Within - By Eva Cybulska  

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Nietzsche’s name has become almost synonymous with militant atheism. Born into a pious Christian family, this son of a Lutheran pastor declared himself the Antichrist. But could this have been yet another of his masks of hardness? Nietzsche rarely revealed his innermost self in the published writings, and this can be gleaned mainly from his private letters and the accounts of friends. These sources bring to light the philosopher’s inner struggle with his own, deeply religious nature.
Losing his father at a young age was a calamity from which Nietzsche never recovered, and I argue that his famous thought-image “God is dead” was a transfiguration of the painful memory of this loss. In this essay, I trace Nietzsche’s tortuous path from an ardent devotee of God to a vociferous critic of Christianity, a path that was punctuated with veiled longings for a loving deity. Deep in his heart, he remained faithful to Christian ideals. Rather like Cordelia, the only truly loving daughter of King Lear, Nietzsche refused to utter words of intense affection and reverence, as these had been blatantly devalued and corrupted. Instead, he adopted a mask of a wrongdoer and a blasphemer who took not the punishment but the guilt.
Nietzsche’s attitude to religion is discussed from the perspective of his life, his personality, and his mental condition. The discussion draws on psychoanalytical concepts of Freud, Erikson, Winnicott and Kohut. This is not an exclusive reading, but complementary to other studies in this field.


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pdf.png The Community of Solitude - By Christopher Pulte  

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This paper re-examines the egos of Edmund Husserl and Max Scheler with reference to Friedrich Nietzsche and the psychologist, James Hillman, and in the process also confronts the ego in other of its many manifestations, misappropriations, and mystifications.
The ego is a multi-headed enigma which defies phenomenological description, and only reaches the status of concept by virtue of the gropings of an epistemology which is not up to the task. The goal of this paper is twofold: firstly, to come to terms with what is commonly spoken of as ego, and secondly, to devise a scheme which does justice to it as phenomenon.


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pdf.png BOOK REVIEW (By Bruce Bradfield) - Psychotherapy for the Other: Levinas and the Face-to-Face Relationship  

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Kevin C. Krycka, George Kunz, & George G. Sayre (Eds.). (2015). Psychotherapy for the Other: Levinas and the Face-to-Face Relationship. Pittsburgh, PA: Duquesne University Press.
Soft Cover (269 pages).
ISBN 978-0-8207-0479-1
Cost: USA £30.00


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