From Philosophy to Practice
Chapter 10. “So What?” – Implications of Hermeneutic Research
The Utility of Hermeneutic Research Findings
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“SO WHAT?” – IMPLICATIONS OF HERMENEUTIC RESEARCH
Understanding does not merely interpret the world but changes it.(Davey, 2006, p. xiv)
In 2011, Dr. Catherine Laing, a doctoral candidate at the time, presented to board members of a local children’s cancer care foundation on her proposed study of children’s cancer camps. She described her intent to study the particular cancer camp run by the foundation and her goal to attempt to reach some understanding of the meaning of the camp for children and families. The board members wholeheartedly supported this research but they asked what the findings would bring them to support their requests for individual and corporate donor contributions to the running of the camp. “Will you get evidence to prove that camp makes a difference?” “What kind of statistics will you get from your study that will convince people to donate?” Laing responded that she would not have statistics or the kind of data that they thought they needed to be convincing. A cancer researcher sitting at the table, who is currently the Scientific Director of the Canadian Institute of Health Research, Dr. Stephen Robbins, astutely asked the questions: “Do you really want those numbers, that kind of measurement? Because what if you measured and you found out that camp made NO difference in the trajectory of the cancer, or that it even increased the possibility of infection, and then ← 183 | 184 → compromised treatment? What if all you...
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