Discovering subjectivity: A subjective world of meanings in the stories of the twilight of life

Open access

Abstract

Pointing to the subjective nature of human life, theorists argue that only in a dialogue with another person does the human disclose meanings important to him or her. The interpretation and analysis of stories with regard to the included subjective meanings included in them as manifestations of human subjectivity seem to be the most effective when undertaken in the hermeneutic approach where psychology and philosophy meet. In the paper advantages of a self-narrative method based on the principles of hermeneutic psychology have been presented. This method has been applied to analyse the stories told by ten persons of senior age and obtained through a narrative interview. This analysis has served to verify the mentioned method, to recognise the respondents′ subjective world of meanings as well as to deepen the reflection on the subjective nature of human life. The exemplary analysis of two out of ten self-narratives obtained in the research have been presented in the article. Similarly to the theoretical reflection included in the text, the research results join the ongoing discussion in contemporary psychology over the legitimacy of the use of qualitative methods.

Bartosz, B. (2004). Ludzie chcą opowiedzieć swoją historię. Konstruowanie rzeczywistości w narracji [People want to tell their story. Constructing reality in a narrative]. In E. Dryll, & A. Cierpka (eds.), Narracja. Koncepcje i badania psychologiczne [Narration. Concepts and psychological studies] (pp. 229-240). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Psychologii PAN.

Bobryk, J. (1981). Społeczne podstawy Ja podmiotowego [Social basis of subjective Self]. Warsaw: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszwskiego.

Denzin, N.K., Lincoln, Y.S. (eds.) (2005). The Sage handbook of qualitative research, 3rd edition. London-Thousand Oaks-New Delhi: SAGE.

Dilthey, J. (1982). Pisma estetyczne [Aesthetic writigs]. Warsaw: Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe.

Dilthey, J. (1993). Rozumienie i życie [Understanding and life]. In G. Sowiński (ed.), Wokół rozumienia. Studia i szkice z hermeneutyki [Around understanding. Studies and sketches on hermeneutics]. Krakow: Papieska Akademia Teologiczna.

Elsbree, L. (1982). The rituals of life: Pattern in narratives. Washington: Kennikat Press.

Frye, N. (1963). Fables of identity. Studies in Poetic Mythology. New York: Harcourt Brace.

Gadacz, T. (1997). Poznawać, czy rozumieć? Hermeneutyczne podstawy fi lozofi i człowieka [Cognise or understand? Hermeneutic basics of human philosophy]. In A. Gałdowa (ed.), Hermeneutyka a psychologia [Hermeneutics vs psychology] (pp. 10-17). Krakow: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Jagiellońskiego.

Gergen, K., & Gergen, M. (2011 ). Narrative tensions: Perilous and productive. Narrative Inquiry, 20(2), 374-381. doi:

Helling, I.K. (1990). Metoda badań biografi cznych [The method of biographical research]. In J. Włodarek, & M. Ziółkowski (eds.), Metoda biografi czna w socjologii [The biographical method in sociology] (pp. 20-34). Warsaw-Poznan: PWN.

Hermans, H.J.M., & Hermans-Jansen, E. (1995). Self-narratives. The construction of meaning in Psychotherapy. New York-London: The Gulford Press, Inc.

Landgrebe, L. (1968). Phä nomenologie und Geschichte. Gü tersloh: Gü tersloher Verlagshaus G. Mohn.

Maruszewski, T. (2011). Psychologia poznania. Umysł i świat [Psychology of cognition. Mind and world]. Sopot: Gdańskie Wydawnictwo Psychologiczne.

McAdams, D.P. (1993). Stories we live by: Personal myths and the making of the self: New York, NY: William Morrow and Company, Inc.

Pervin, L.A., & John, O.P. (1997). Personality: Theory and research (7th ed.). New York: Wiley.

Radnitzky, G. (1970). Contemporary schools of metascience. Gothenburg: Akademiforlaget.

Ricoeur, P. (1989). Język, tekst, interpretacja [Language, text, interpretation]. Warsaw: Państwowy Instytut Wydawniczy.

Ricoeur, P. (1992). Filozofi a osoby [Philosophy of a person]. Krakow: Papieska Akademia Teologiczna.

Ricoeur, P., & Thompson, J.B. (1981). Hermeneutics and the human science: Essays on language action and interpretation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Riessman, C.K. (2008). Narrative methods for the human sciences. London: Sage Publications.

Sarbin, T.R. (1986) (red.). Narrative psychology. The storied nature of human conduct. New York: Praeger.

Straś-Romanowska, M. (2000). O metodzie jakościowej w kontekście rozważań nad tożsamością psychologii [On the qualitative method in the context of refl ection on the identity of psychology]. In M. Straś-Romanowska (ed.), Metody jakościowe w psychologii współczesnej [Qualitative methods in modern psychology] (pp. 15-30). Wroclaw: Wydawnictwo Uniwersytetu Wrocławskiego.

Straś-Romanowska, M. (2004). Podmiotowość człowieka w badaniach narracyjnych [Human subjectivity in narrative research]. In E. Dryll, & A. Cierpka (eds.), Narracja. Koncepcje i badania psychologiczne [Narration. Concepts and psychological studies] (pp. 23-36). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Psychologii PAN.

Uchnast, Z. (1983). Humanistyczna orientacja w psychologii osobowości [Humanistic orientation in the personality psychology]. Lublin: Wydawnictwo KUL.

Żurko, M. (2004). Rekonstrukcja poczucia tożsamości na podstawie narracji: Propozycje interpretacji tekstu autobiografi cznego [Reconstruction of the sense of identity based on a narrative: Proposals for the interpretation of autobiographical texts]. In E. Dryll, & A. Cierpka (eds.), Narracja. Koncepcje i badania psychologiczne [Narration. Concepts and psychological studies] (pp. 220-226). Warsaw: Wydawnictwo Instytutu Psychologii PAN.

Polish Psychological Bulletin

The Journal of Committee for Psychological Sciences of Polish Academy of Sciences

Journal Information


CiteScore 2016: 0.33

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.185
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.258

Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 194 194 19
PDF Downloads 72 72 10