Max van Manen

Research in Focus, 2002

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In this sketch about some aspects of my research, I should probably start with the term “phenomenology”. Phenomenology is the name for the philosophical tradition that started in Western Europe in the 19th century, and that continues today. But in some countries phenomenology was also taken up by non-philosophers – scholars in education, pedagogy, psychology, psychiatry and other health sciences. In the 1950s this led to what in my native Dutch language is called the “methoden strijd” – literally, a struggle for what methods are most appropriate for studying human phenomena.