• IPA: The black swan of qualitative research

      Dennison, Melissa (2019)
      Critics of IPA suggest that it is unscientific, lacking a complex subjectivity and displaying a promiscuous epistemology. This article aims to explore these criticisms, offering a response that is inspired by the language of fertility and ideas adapted from evolutionary science. As the swan is often seen as a symbol of fidelity, this article draws an analogy between the promiscuous behaviour of Australian Black Swans and IPA research. Within this frame, flirtations with other methodologies are described as being advantageous in that they encourage gene flow and a productive cross fertilisation of ideas. An intermingling of genes can open up new avenues of research, enhance reflexive awareness and allow the voice of others to be heard. Finally as IPA is happy to engage in flirtations and dalliances with diverse theoretical frames to enhance its longevity, this article suggests that a good match could be made between IPA and dialogical methods.
    • Medical training as adventure-wonder and adventure-ordeal: a dialogical analysis of affect-laden pedagogy

      Madill, A.; Sullivan, Paul W. (2010)
      Our purpose is to examine the possibilities of Bakhtinian dialogical analysis for understanding students' experiences of medical training. Twenty-three interviews were conducted with eleven British medical students intercalating in psychology. Forty emotionally resonant key moments were identified for analysis. Our analysis illustrates students' use of the professional genre to present their training as emotionally neutral. However, we show how medical training can be framed in more unofficial and affective-laden ways in which threshold moments of crisis are presented as space-time breaches characteristic of the genres of adventure-wonder and adventure-ordeal. This affect was often depotentiated in the narratives through brief allusion to the professional genre. This cycling between genres suggests that the students were searching for an appropriate way in which to frame their experiences, a central dilemma being the extent to which medical training makes sense within an immediate and affect-laden, or future-orientated and affect-neutral, pedagogy. Finally, we identify how consultants are an important aspect of the affective experience of medical training who, at their best, offer inspiring exemplars of flexible movement between official and unofficial ways of being a doctor. In conclusion, we demonstrate the potential of genres to make sense, and to organize the experience, of medical training spatially in terms of moving between personal and impersonal contact, temporally in terms of moving between the extraordinary and routine, and affectively in terms of moving between potent and neutral affect. Learning to use the professional genre is part of enculturation as a doctor and can be helpful in providing a framework restoring coherence and composure through engaging with, and reformulating, difficult experiences. However, it is important to take seriously the resistance many of the students demonstrated to the professional genre as a possible barometer of its acceptability to the general public.