How to Find Essences in Phenomenological Research

Categories: Qualitative

In phenomenology one has to find essences. Essence is found through performing imaginative variation on the studied cases. One imaginatively varies the details found in the studied cases and tries to figure out what remained invariant in imaginatively varied examples.

So, if one has to find the essence of the experience of teaching mathematics in a co education school at middle level, one has to study sampled cases . After studying the sampled cases one has to construct in his imagination other possible experiences of the sort studied during the research.


This exercise will tell the researcher what remained invariable in the studied and imagined or possible cases, and that invariable structure is the essence. This method is also called eidetic reduction, for concrete data is reduced to ideas. Essences are not always simple; they can be complex, and thus have different aspects. So, one has to focus all those aspects , to find out the full meaning of essence.


This is called thematic analysis in phenomenology. Thus all the aspects of the essential being are to be studied and exposed through phenomenological investigations.


By: Khalid Jamil Rawat