Category: Edition 1 - May 2018
 
 

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pdf.png Editorial for Volume 18, Edition 1 (May 2018) - By Editor-in-Chief  

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While in the process of preparing the current edition of the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology for release, my beautiful and beloved mother, Marjorie Stones – who, just eighteen months earlier, on her 90th birthday had been awarded lifelong membership of the Seniors Exercise Club she continued to attend regularly – died in her 92nd year just before dawn on a Friday: a public holiday in South Africa, known as Freedom Day since 1994, the formal end of the Apartheid regime. By quite uncanny coincidence, her birthday had since 1994 fallen on yet another public holiday, aptly named Heritage Day: a holiday designed to celebrate the cultural diversity of a country with 11 official languages in addition to sign language, not to mention the languages of the vast number of immigrant groups from Europe and the East in addition to multilingual refugees from Central Africa.  ....



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pdf.png Stories of Suffering and Success: Men’s Embodied Narratives following Bariatric Surgery - By Karen Synne Groven, Birgitte Ahlsen and Steve Robertson  

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This paper draws on research exploring how men narrate their long-term experiences of Weight Loss Surgery [WLS] and is specifically focused on findings relating to male embodiment. Whilst there is concern about increasing obesity and the possible role of bariatric [WLS] surgery in ameliorating this, there has been little research to date exploring men’s longer-term experiences of this. For the purposes of the present study, interviews were conducted with five men who had undergone bariatric surgery at least four years previously. The transcribed interviews were subjected to narrative analysis with the additional incorporation of Watson’s (2000) “male body schema” into this process in order to facilitate focus on the embodied nature of the storied accounts obtained. The findings suggested two seemingly contrasting storylines: “ongoing struggles” and “success”. Struggles related mainly to control over eating habits and the visceral challenges of long-term side effects following surgery. Despite these struggles, the men ultimately presented an overriding storyline of embodied “success” in how the surgery had assisted them to live more normatively male lives. Importantly, narratives around struggles were presented as more private stories in contrast to the public emphasis on success. The silencing dynamic implicit in this suggests the likelihood that other men encountering similar experiences would be reticent to reveal their struggles, thereby perpetuating their suffering and leaving popular obesity and weight loss narratives unchallenged.


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pdf.png Teenage Girlhood and Bodily Agency: On Power, Weight, Dys-Appearance and Eu-Appearance in a Norwegian Lifestyle Programme - By Karen Synne Groven and Kristin Zeiler  

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Despite the growing literature on childhood obesity and lifestyle intervention programmes focusing on weight loss, few studies have examined young persons’ experiences of being identified as candidates for such programmes and of participating in them. This paper does so. Juxtaposing insights from phenomenology with an approach inspired by Foucault, the paper shows how teenage girls’ bodily self-perception and bodily self-awareness are shaped in intercorporeal assemblages comprising other people and specific features or elements of the lifestyle programme.
Inspired by van Manen’s hermeneutic-phenomenological approach, with its point of departure in lived experience, this paper draws on interviews with Norwegian teenage girls participating in the same lifestyle programme and identifies three core thematic aspects of the girls’ experiences: being identified as a candidate for a lifestyle programme and not wanting this; negotiating the lack of weight loss and the scales; and bodily situated agency – feeling good and being able. Permeating all three themes are two central, interrelated phenomena: agency and resistance. Furthermore, the paper shows how a combination of Foucauldian insights and a phenomenological understanding of intercorporeality can help to shed light on the power, affective, material and temporal dimensions of dys-appearance (i.e., when one’s body appears as bad or wrong), as well as those of eu-appearance (i.e., when one’s body appears as healthy or strong), and thus contribute to the understanding of the girls’ narrated lived experiences.
On the basis of these findings, we argue that weight-related treatment goals are not necessarily compatible with the strengthening of adolescents’ body images and self-esteem. However, whilst being obliged to attend to their bodies while in the programme, the girls also encountered unexpected, positive bodily feelings and experiences. Such events, we suggest, offer a means of resisting the more troubling dys-appearing bodily situations our participants described so powerfully.


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pdf.png Phenomenological Analysis of the Lived Experiences of Academics who Participated in the Professional Development Programme at an Open Distance Learning (ODL) University in South Africa - By Anthony Kiryagana Isabirye and Mpine Makoe  

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Since online delivery of education has become a major approach to teaching in Open Distance Learning (ODL) institutions, it becomes critical to understand how academics learn to teach online. This study was designed to explore the lived experiences of academics who had participated in a professional development programme aimed at moving them from traditional distance teaching to online facilitation of learning. Giorgi’s phenomenological psychological method was used to analyse and retrospectively examine the learning experiences of the participant academics in order to establish how they lived, behaved and experienced the training programme. The participants described their experiences in relation to distinct lived worlds that included the world in relation to self, others, time, and their environment. The academics’ experiences and concerns provide insight into their skills development needs and the adequacy of the programme provided in addressing these and equipping academics for online teaching. The perspectives identified could serve to guide the development and promotion of professional development programmes for online teaching and learning.


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pdf.png Group Relations Consulting: Voice Notes from Robben Island - By Aden-Paul Flotman  

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Group process consultants use themselves as instruments of intervention at the micro, meso and macro levels, and therefore need to have a deep sense of personal self-awareness and self-regulation as they serve as complex dynamic containers of group consultation processes. In this paper, I proceed from an ethnographic perspective to describe, reflect on and explore my emotional and cognitive lived experiences as consultant to participants’ diversity encounters during a Robben Island Diversity Experience (RIDE) event in South Africa. Nineteen participants attended the event. It became clear that discussions were enhanced when the consultant was able to tap into somatic experiences as an additional source of information. The understanding of my consulting role experience may assist both current and emerging consultants in this and similar paradigms to gain insight into the impact of their own psychological disposition and socio-demographic profiles in contributing towards the deconstruction or formation of a good-enough consulting container.


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ISSN 1445-7377 (Online issues)

ISSN 2079-7222 (Print issues)

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