A First Pass at the Process.

So, here’s how I think my hermeneutic work on the texts that you guys have sent me will work:

1. Reading 1 – Emotive-Responsive = I’ll have a gut reaction to reading your stories, having an eating disorder myself, so I’ll aim to capture as faithfully as possible (a thought’s just popped into my head that I might use a microphone so I can quickly record my spoken thoughts, which will be quicker than trying to jot things down in writing for this first read through) my responses and the feelings that are evoked, including any automatic thoughts. I can even journal out any deep emotional ‘rubberbands’ (Stewart & Joines 2005) that occur for me.

2. Reading 2 – Empathic = re-read with “openness and receptivity” (Crotty 1998: 109). Similar to the idea of active listening when counselling. The participant will be speaking to me and I will be listening as I try to fully connect with your perspective.

3. Reading 3 – Interactive (Crotty 1998) = where the story of disordered eating is asked questions of and answers are sought in the experiences documented on the page. Reading literature about identity & masculinity, body image and eating disorders will feed in here as this re-reading is the first part of critical (in the academic sense – not in a necessarily traditional sense of being judgmental) engagement with the experiences of my participants.

4. Reading 4 – Transactional = in this reading its possible (and indeed desirable) that what I begin to document is new to me and you. that i am learning things from your experiences that were not necessarily in your mind when you first wrote the story to share with others. These ‘things’ may not have even been with me when I started work on your text but have emerged as I have worked with the experiences and the literature. These understandings may “… have come into being in and out of our engagement with it [the text]” (Crotty 1998: 110).

It is in reading four when any guys who have said they’d like to be able to read and comment on my understanding will be able to do just that.

There it is then – a bit rough around the ages but I’d rather capture this stuff as I’m thinking it – nothing’s set in stone and can always be changed and refined.


Crotty, M (1998) The Foundations of Social Research: Meaning and Perspective in the Research Process. London: SAGE publications. 

Stewart, I & Joines, V (2005) TA Today: A New Introduction to Transactional Analysis. Nottingham: Lifespace Publishing.