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Korean J Child Stud > Volume 18(2); 1997 > Article
Korean Journal of Child Studies 1997;18(2): 57-71.
질적 아동연구를 위한 해석학의 방법론적 시사
Methodological Implications of Hermeneutics for Qualitative Research on Children
Hae Ryung Yoo
This study discusses the nature of data-interpretation process in the perspective of modern hermeneutics and explores its methodological implications for qualitative research on the life of children. Discussions center around the basic concepts of modern hermeneutics, such as the conceptual distinctions between understanding and explanation, the intersubjective reality constituted between the child`s horizon and the researcher`s, the concept of the hermeneutics circle and the importance of the openness of language in understanding children`s lifeworld. The conclusions are made as follows: First, the concept of "understanding", which is the basic concern of qualitative research on children, has a much different meaning from that of "explanation" in quantitative research. The task of understanding lies in interpreting the lived meaning in context as experienced by children in all its complexity. Second the researcher`s subjectivity in the interpretation process has a dual function in that it can produce a faulty hermeneutics circle and yet it provides the researcher with the strong momentum to open up her understanding towards a deeper and wider level. Third, the reliability and the validity of qualitative research should be discussed within the interpretation process itself in that interpretation in qualitative research is guided basically by the researcher`s internal dialectic: between data (text) and her subjectivity. Lastly, the language in interpretive research should be open and free in terms of style in order to present a fuller and richer description of children`s lifeworld and the delicate textures of their lived meanings.
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