Title

Validity of Using the Novel as a Data Source for Studies in Occupational Science

Start Time

16-11-2002 8:15 AM

End Time

16-11-2002 9:45 AM

Abstract

Within the phenomenological hermeneutic tradition, it has been recommended that literature as well as the arts and legal codes constitute legitimate sources for systematic inquiry. Similarly, occupational scientists have endorsed the view that a wide range of types of data, including text, can be used to further our understanding of human occupation. In my dissertation, I plan to use textual hermeneutic analysis to examine the essence of the characters in the novel "Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami in order to explore the relationship of occupation to emotion. My study will be one of the first in occupational science to utilize fiction as a data source. This presentation will begin with a methodological discussion in which I address the credibility/validity of using the novel as a data source for phenomenological inquiry. First, ideas formulated by the philosopher Dilthey will be discussed with specific emphasis on the hermeneutic method he devised for interpreting the meaning of human action. Prior to Dilthey, hermeneutics had been used for interpreting the bible and other literary texts. However, Dilthey expanded its application to human action, recommending that literature and the arts be used as sources for such inquiries. Second, I will discuss the ways in which narrative theory will inform my proposed study. Narrative theory has been widely employed in occupational science as a way of interpreting actual human experience. However, this theoretical framework is also particularly well suited for understanding characters in the novel. Aspects of narrative structure such as sequenced episodes unfolding in the lives of individuals, social and cultural context, and the way in which individuals experience occurrences in their world are typically captured in the novel. Third, I will discuss the unique advantages of using the novel as an occupational science data source. These include the novel's capacity for depicting momentary and fluctuating feelings, the possibilities it affords in exploring taboos, and its ability to present diverse points of view as a way of signifying the complexity of existence. Finally, I will close by addressing some of the potential disadvantages of using the novel as an occupational science data source. The first is that since the novel is a product of the imagination of its author, it represents only one perspective and this content while, perhaps, intended to reflect reality is, nonetheless, fictitious. Second, as with all interpretative approaches, no single interpretation can be considered definitive. For these reasons it is crucial that procedures be used to, insofar as possible, present as credible an interpretation as possible. I will recommend a collaborative research process to minimize these potential problems.

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Nov 16th, 8:15 AM Nov 16th, 9:45 AM

Validity of Using the Novel as a Data Source for Studies in Occupational Science

Within the phenomenological hermeneutic tradition, it has been recommended that literature as well as the arts and legal codes constitute legitimate sources for systematic inquiry. Similarly, occupational scientists have endorsed the view that a wide range of types of data, including text, can be used to further our understanding of human occupation. In my dissertation, I plan to use textual hermeneutic analysis to examine the essence of the characters in the novel "Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami in order to explore the relationship of occupation to emotion. My study will be one of the first in occupational science to utilize fiction as a data source. This presentation will begin with a methodological discussion in which I address the credibility/validity of using the novel as a data source for phenomenological inquiry. First, ideas formulated by the philosopher Dilthey will be discussed with specific emphasis on the hermeneutic method he devised for interpreting the meaning of human action. Prior to Dilthey, hermeneutics had been used for interpreting the bible and other literary texts. However, Dilthey expanded its application to human action, recommending that literature and the arts be used as sources for such inquiries. Second, I will discuss the ways in which narrative theory will inform my proposed study. Narrative theory has been widely employed in occupational science as a way of interpreting actual human experience. However, this theoretical framework is also particularly well suited for understanding characters in the novel. Aspects of narrative structure such as sequenced episodes unfolding in the lives of individuals, social and cultural context, and the way in which individuals experience occurrences in their world are typically captured in the novel. Third, I will discuss the unique advantages of using the novel as an occupational science data source. These include the novel's capacity for depicting momentary and fluctuating feelings, the possibilities it affords in exploring taboos, and its ability to present diverse points of view as a way of signifying the complexity of existence. Finally, I will close by addressing some of the potential disadvantages of using the novel as an occupational science data source. The first is that since the novel is a product of the imagination of its author, it represents only one perspective and this content while, perhaps, intended to reflect reality is, nonetheless, fictitious. Second, as with all interpretative approaches, no single interpretation can be considered definitive. For these reasons it is crucial that procedures be used to, insofar as possible, present as credible an interpretation as possible. I will recommend a collaborative research process to minimize these potential problems.