International presentation
Apr 30, 2022

An Introduction to the Usage of Hermeneutics in Cross-cultural Research

2022 Korea TESOL International Conference
  • Michael D. Smith

Event date
Apr 30, 2022 - May 1, 2022
Presentation type
Oral presentation (general)
Korea, Republic of

Recognised as the theory and practice of interpretation, hermeneutics represents a
methodology and philosophical framework paying particular attention to the socio-cultural, linguistic, and historical contexts shaping human experience. Contrary to positivistic interpretations of reality, hermeneutics honours the role of personal history during the negotiation of culture, presenting a versatile research methodology that recognises one’s preheld beliefs as an inescapable feature of learning. In doing so, hermeneutics seeks not to overcome or eliminate subjectivity but to appreciate the consequences of its limits. Calling on Gadamer, this presentation intends to communicate the value and limitations of this approach,specifically to front-line, cross-cultural research. In discussing the applications of hermeneutics, principles such as effective history, prejudice, provocation, and fusion of horizons, scaffold practical tips, including the role of the post-positivist researcher, ethical and quality control measures, interview procedures, transcription, and the interpretation and analysis of data.