Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is an approach to psychological research. It has been developed to guide the design and conduct of small-scale, in-depth qualitatitive research studies. It is concerned with understanding people’s experiences of events, relationships or processes which are of some significance to them.
Researchers using IPA can already access a wide range of published material (including a recent book, published by Sage), a website at Birkbeck University of London, a Yahoo discussion group (join ‘ipanalysis’), and a network of regional and international groups and contacts (see www.ipa.bbk.ac.uk/regional-contacts-uk). Peer support, and good supervision, are also very important.
This tumblr page has been set up so that we can create an IPA community resource, which will include materials to support learning, research, and discussion in the IPA domain. These materials are likely to be supplementary to those provided in IPA books and publications. They might, for example, include video or audio podcasts of IPA workshop segments, or of discussions at some of the many small groups in the international IPA network.
I haven’t quite figured out how we will manage that process, but it seems to me that access to such materials - and involvement in the generation and/or discussion of such materials - will provide a bit more of the sort of support which is required by some of the more isolated researchers in our community. IPA is an approach which requires the development of interpersonal understandings and skills, and these aren’t easily developed and nurtured in isolation. I have a feeling that they would not be greatly enhanced by a more formal set of online resources. But something developed out of the work that we are all, already, involved in might be useful.
As I figure out how to do that, I’ll post some clearer guidance on how to get involved. When I say ‘how to do it,’ I mean, administratively and technically, but also, what sort of principles ought to guide what we post here, and how should the contributions be organised and structured?
In the meantime, if you already have materials that might usefully be included here, do drop me a line and let me know.