Phenomenology as a paradigm of movement

Frances Rapport*, Paul Wainwright

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Phenomenology is a well-founded qualitative methodology that is frequently used by nurse researchers and considered of value when addressing research questions in nursing practice and nurse education. However, at present, nurse researchers using phenomenology tend to divide phenomenological methodology into the descriptive and interpretive formats. The nursing literature suggests that there is a deep divide between researchers following the methodological underpinnings and basic precepts pertaining to these two camps. If we are to reach a clearer understanding of the theory underlying phenomenological methods it would be more helpful if we started to recognise that there are also important associations between transcendental and interpretive phenomenology. One such association is that a paradigm of movement exists that is not unique to transcendental and interpretive phenomenology but is common to them, as well as being inherent within a variety of fields of study. If we consider the universality of such imagery, looking to examples through parallel texts, we can obtain insights into phenomenology and its transposition into a workable scientific method that can be of use to the nurse researcher.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)228-236
Number of pages9
JournalNursing Inquiry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Interpretive phenomenology
  • Movement metaphor
  • Nursing research
  • Transcendental phenomenology


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