Title

Writing and the Transformative Self: A Heuristic Inquiry

Presenter Information

Kristine Haertl

Start Time

25-10-2008 10:20 AM

End Time

25-10-2008 10:50 AM

Abstract

Writing has been around for centuries as a key symbolic form by which we communicate and construct our individual and collective realities. Heuristics, as described by Moustakas, involves an in-depth qualitative exploration of a question of intrinsic importance to the researcher. Occasionally used in the social and psychological sciences, heuristic inquiry has unique applications to the field of occupational science. Phases of heuristic inquiry include (a) initial engagement, (b) immersion, (c) incubation, (d) illumination, (e) explication, (f) creative synthesis, and (g) validation. Each of the phases allows the researchers to analyze the dynamics of a phenomenon (in this case writing as an occupation), as it evolves over time. Over the past three years, the primary researcher studied 33 years of personal poetry and journal writing, leading to a creative synthesis and personal questions related to the intrinsic and extrinsic properties of personal writing and their influence on personal experience. This presentation will focus on phase II of a larger study, which sought to explore the role of writing in the development of the self. The primary researcher and seven co-researchers engaged in ongoing dyadic heuristic interviews over the period of a year. Participants varied in geographical location and life experience and included a 97 year old Poet Laureate, faculty members, a janitor, a retired English teacher, and a pregnant teen. Results demonstrated the powerful transformative role in the occupation of personal writing.

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Oct 25th, 10:20 AM Oct 25th, 10:50 AM

Writing and the Transformative Self: A Heuristic Inquiry

Writing has been around for centuries as a key symbolic form by which we communicate and construct our individual and collective realities. Heuristics, as described by Moustakas, involves an in-depth qualitative exploration of a question of intrinsic importance to the researcher. Occasionally used in the social and psychological sciences, heuristic inquiry has unique applications to the field of occupational science. Phases of heuristic inquiry include (a) initial engagement, (b) immersion, (c) incubation, (d) illumination, (e) explication, (f) creative synthesis, and (g) validation. Each of the phases allows the researchers to analyze the dynamics of a phenomenon (in this case writing as an occupation), as it evolves over time. Over the past three years, the primary researcher studied 33 years of personal poetry and journal writing, leading to a creative synthesis and personal questions related to the intrinsic and extrinsic properties of personal writing and their influence on personal experience. This presentation will focus on phase II of a larger study, which sought to explore the role of writing in the development of the self. The primary researcher and seven co-researchers engaged in ongoing dyadic heuristic interviews over the period of a year. Participants varied in geographical location and life experience and included a 97 year old Poet Laureate, faculty members, a janitor, a retired English teacher, and a pregnant teen. Results demonstrated the powerful transformative role in the occupation of personal writing.