What is it about?

Bracketing is a very important aspect of any phenomenological study, yet, it is also one of the most problematic ones. It is conceptually reasonably clear, but there is little clarity regarding how to actually do it. We recommend doing it through "transpersonal reflexivity", which is a kind of reflexivity that happens when two or more researchers think together, holding a mirror to each other, raising awareness of their pre-understandings, assumptions and such as well as of the impact of these.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

At a philosophical level, phenomenology explains the nature of bracketing and its various types. What is not quite trivial, is how to actually implement it. PhD students and early career scholars often get excited about the prospect of conducting a phenomenological study, as it is the study of the lived experience, and then give up, as there is little guideline available about how to conduct a phenomenological study, and particularly about the crucial process of bracketing. Furthermore, we wanted to do justice to Husserl's original phenomenological stance by exposing its anti-positivist mindset.


I hope that this study will help PhD students, who are interested in conducting a phenomenological study to choose it if they really want to, providing some clarity for one aspect of the process. By practising bracketing as introduced in our paper pre-understandings, insider view, judgements, and similar can become sources of insight rather than something to get rid of - what positivists would label a bias.

Dr Viktor Dörfler
University of Strathclyde

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Bracketing: a phenomenological theory applied through transpersonal reflexivity, Journal of Organizational Change Management, August 2020, Emerald,
DOI: 10.1108/jocm-12-2019-0393.
You can read the full text:




The following have contributed to this page