What Is the Basic Concept of Hermeneutic Phenomenology?


Jane Flores

Hermeneutic phenomenology is a research methodology that is widely used in various fields such as social sciences, psychology, and healthcare. It is a qualitative research approach that focuses on interpreting the lived experiences of individuals and their meaning-making processes. In this article, we will explore the basic concept of hermeneutic phenomenology and its significance in qualitative research.

The Basic Concept of Hermeneutic Phenomenology

Hermeneutic phenomenology is based on the philosophical traditions of hermeneutics and phenomenology. Hermeneutics is the study of how humans interpret and give meaning to their experiences, while phenomenology focuses on understanding the essence of human experience.

The goal of hermeneutic phenomenology is to gain insight into the lived experiences of individuals by exploring their worldviews, values, beliefs, and attitudes. It involves a deep exploration of subjective experiences that cannot be explained by empirical data alone.

The Significance of Hermeneutic Phenomenology in Qualitative Research

Hermeneutic phenomenology is significant in qualitative research because it provides a framework for understanding complex human experiences that are difficult to measure quantitatively. It allows researchers to explore the subjective experiences of individuals in depth, providing insights that are not accessible through other research methods.

Furthermore, hermeneutic phenomenology recognizes the importance of context in shaping human experience. It acknowledges that individual experiences are influenced by cultural, social, historical, and political factors. Therefore, it encourages researchers to consider these contextual factors when interpreting data.

The Process of Conducting Hermeneutic Phenomenological Research

The process of conducting hermeneutic phenomenological research involves several steps:

Step 1: Bracketing

Bracketing involves setting aside preconceptions and biases when approaching the data. Researchers must acknowledge their own assumptions and perspectives and suspend them during the data analysis process.

Step 2: Data Collection

Data collection involves gathering rich and detailed descriptions of individuals’ experiences through interviews, observations, or other methods. Researchers must take a holistic approach to data collection, considering the individual’s subjective experiences within their broader social and cultural context.

Step 3: Data Analysis

Data analysis involves a deep exploration of the data to identify themes, patterns, and meanings. Researchers must immerse themselves in the data to gain a comprehensive understanding of the individual’s experiences.

Step 4: Interpretation

Interpretation involves making sense of the data by connecting themes and patterns to broader theoretical concepts. Researchers must consider the individual’s experiences in relation to their social, cultural, historical, and political context.


In conclusion, hermeneutic phenomenology is a powerful qualitative research methodology that allows researchers to gain insight into the lived experiences of individuals. By exploring subjective experiences in depth and considering contextual factors, hermeneutic phenomenology provides a unique perspective on complex human phenomena.

The process of conducting hermeneutic phenomenological research involves several steps, including bracketing, data collection, data analysis, and interpretation. By following these steps, researchers can gain comprehensive insights into human experience that are not accessible through other research methods.