Category: Edition 1 - November 2003
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 3, Edition 1 (November 2003) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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It gives me great pleasure to preside - as Editor-in-Chief - over the release of this new-look journal website. For first-time readers it might be apt, at this point, to provide a brief historical background to the origins of this journal. While there are several other on-line journals dealing with the phenomenological paradigm, they all essentially cater for European and American writers situated in their respective geographical spaces and therefore are largely concerned with European and American issues. By contrast, the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology aims to capture the works of phenomenologically-oriented social scientists in the Southern Hemisphere, although this is not intended to be exclusive. ...


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pdf.png INVITED PAPER: Generational Phenomenology - By Lester Embree  

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The work by Lancaster and Stillman (2002) on generational gaps and conflicts in American companies is used to show that there is a generational dimension to the socio-cultural lifeworld. In relation to that, some indications are offered about how attitudes toward one’s own as well as other generations can be reflectively analyzed. Other societies probably have similar differences between generations.


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pdf.png Phenomenological Intentionality meets an Ego-less State - By Jenny Barnes  

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When using the phenomenological method, one aims to capture the essential structures of lived experiences. It has been my experience that phenomenology does this well, when researching experiences that are lived through our bodily senses and understood with our minds. When trying to capture and describe experiences that are beyond the understanding of the body and the mind, namely experiences of deep meditative states, one is confronted with the limitations of the research method itself.
One of the fundamental concepts within the phenomenological method is that of Intentionality. It is assumed that human beings experience themselves and their worlds from the perspective of an individual ego that intends an object of consciousness. This subject-object interaction comprises the contents of consciousness itself. The challenge, in this paper, is to describe deep meditative states, whereby the subject and the object of consciousness become one.
The phenomenological epoché is performed so that the researcher can be completely open to how the experiential data itself describes mystical experiences. This means bracketing out all preconceptions, all theories including that of intentionality, so that the researcher can open her/himself up to the essence of mystical meditation. When this is done, the mystical state informs an expansion of intentionality to include the state of oneness.


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pdf.png Mythic and Theoretic Aspects of the Concept of ‘the unconscious’ in Popular and Psychological Discourse - By David Edwards  

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It could be argued that mythology dramatizes aspects of our relationship with potent forces of which we have little understanding and over which we have little control. Moreover, many of these forces are less concrete than the forces of nature and arise from an apprehension of our existential predicaments, our interpersonal vulnerability and the intensity of our own psychological pain. This paper argues that in many contemporary discourses this territory is referred to more neutrally as ‘the unconscious'. Within this framework, the Freudian interpretation of the unconscious is explored, as is the use of mythology to disguise deep, fear inducing aspects of the unconscious by expressing them in ways that are less threatening. In particular, the myth of Oedipus and its Freudian interpretation is examined together with the divergent opinions of Freud, Adler and Jung regarding the unconscious. The paper continues to examine the difficulty that modern ‘science' has had in reconciling contemporary and past views on the unconscious, viewing the unconscious as more of an information processing system. The paper proceeds to discuss different ways of how meaning is encoded into language and how it can affect people on an unconscious level. Jung's concept of the collective unconscious is briefly examined, particularly the notion that the collective unconscious is "a separate reality with its own autonomous existence". The use of psychedelic substances by various psychological professionals is briefly commented on, as well as their use in shamanism.
Also discussed is how the unconscious serves as a mythic entity in contemporary psychology, with the ability to invoke feelings of fascination at the implication of "something powerful, mysterious and beyond our control". Within this context, Bynum's work on "the African unconscious" is examined through the lens of paleoanthropological data, healing rituals and Jung's experiences in Africa, and how these contribute to a uniquely African viewpoint on the subject of the unconscious. The paper concludes that although the unconscious has been conceptualised differently by many different scholars across time, it continues to point "to profound existential truths about the nature of human life".


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pdf.png The Experience of Being Diagnosed with a Psychiatric Disorder: Living the Label - By Zelda Knight and Bruce Bradfield  

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Informed by the investigative thrust of phenomenological inquiry and the ‘phenomenology of intersubjectivity', the overarching aim of this article is to provide an accurate illumination of the experience of being diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder, and thus being ‘a labelled individual'. This article is based on research that sought to understand the impact of the psychiatric label upon labelled individuals interpersonal and intersubjective presence as experienced outside the psychiatric institution. The principle question asked was: "What is the experience of being a labelled individual in the world?". It was discovered that psychiatric labelling unfolds as a disconnection and dislocation from co-existence with others. Moreover, labelling had the effect of robbing such individuals of their subjectivity, rendering them lonely, misunderstood and viewed as somehow defective, disabled and wrong.


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pdf.png Much in a Little: Reflections on the Gift of the Sea-Shell - By Rex van Vuuren  

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The purpose of this essay is to amplify a current debate insisting that as psychologists we should bring ontological concerns to the fore so that, hopefully, we can become clearer about the nature of psychological phenomena. In this essay I add my voice to this debate. I take up and apply some of the ontological, epistemological and methodological principles involved in this debate by demonstrating some of the notions from the broad movement which, albeit as a minority voice, defines psychology as a human science.


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