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Exploring the value of interpretative pluralism in qualitative psychological studies of controversial and/or sensitive issues: Principles and practicalities

Jackson, J, Steffen, E and Coyle, A (2011) Exploring the value of interpretative pluralism in qualitative psychological studies of controversial and/or sensitive issues: Principles and practicalities In: Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society’s Division of Counselling Psychology, 2011-07-14 - 2011-07-16, Bristol.

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Abstract

Purpose: This paper examines the principles of methodological pluralism in qualitative research and considers its practical value for counselling psychologists involved in research on controversial and/or sensitive issues. Background: Recently the adoption of a pluralist stance has been advocated within qualitative psychology. Counselling psychologists embracing philosophical pluralism often consider material from different perspectives and may look for methodologically coherent ways of integrating such a stance into their research work. This may be especially relevant when researching issues that invite a multi-perspectival approach due to their complexity, sensitivity or controversial nature. Method/Key Points: This paper will draw upon two studies which used a limited pluralist stance to investigate controversial and/or sensitive issues. One study examined reports from people who claimed to have experienced the presence of someone who had died; the research considered how these accounts might be understood. The other study focused on ethical and boundary issues in accounts of practice provided by counsellors employed within their churches to provide counselling services to congregation members. Initially both studies interpreted accounts in qualified phenomenological ways but, when adopting a social constructionist stance, they discerned consistent rhetorical business around the establishment of credibility and the deflection of non-desired versions of events. Insights from both analytic stances were fruitfully combined. By examining the same data through different analytic lenses, these studies yielded maximum ‘analytic value’. Conclusions: The paper indicates that methodological pluralism could be a valuable and recognisable research approach for counselling psychologists, although further developmental work is needed."

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Jackson, JUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Steffen, EUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Coyle, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 2011
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
Last Modified : 28 Mar 2017 15:27
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/766413

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