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                            University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange
	8-2011
AN EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF THE LIVED EXPERIENCES OF MOTHERS IN DUAL-CAREER FAMILIES
	Andrea Darlene Marable
		Recommended Citation
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Page 1

University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative
Exchange

Doctoral Dissertations Graduate School

8-2011

AN EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENOLOGICAL
EXPLORATION OF THE LIVED
EXPERIENCES OF MOTHERS IN DUAL-
CAREER FAMILIES
Andrea Darlene Marable
[email protected]

This Dissertation is brought to you for free and open access by the Graduate School at Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. It has been
accepted for inclusion in Doctoral Dissertations by an authorized administrator of Trace: Tennessee Research and Creative Exchange. For more
information, please contact [email protected]

Recommended Citation
Marable, Andrea Darlene, "AN EXISTENTIAL PHENOMENOLOGICAL EXPLORATION OF THE LIVED EXPERIENCES OF
MOTHERS IN DUAL-CAREER FAMILIES. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2011.
https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss/1099

https://trace.tennessee.edu
https://trace.tennessee.edu
https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk_graddiss
https://trace.tennessee.edu/utk-grad
mailto:[email protected]

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of the questions asked during a phenomenological interview, Thomas and Pollio

suggested that the opening question be broad in nature so as to elicit the greatest degree

of description from the participant. Because it is difficult to create an appropriate

opening question, it was suggested that the researcher discuss the formation of the

opening question with an experienced interviewer or phenomenology research group.

Additionally, prior to beginning the interview process, the researcher should participate

in a bracketing interview. The term bracketing

world in order to study the essential

interview is to learn about any preconceptions the researcher might hold concerning the

phenomenon of interest. Once aware of his or her biases, the researcher should make

every effort to remain as nonjudgmental as possible, both during the interview and while

interpreting the interview (Thomas & Pollio, 2002).

For purposes of the present research project, I conducted in-depth, face-to-face

interviews with all 10 participants. Prior to beginning the actual interview process, I

thought critically about the structure and wording of the opening question and sought the

guidance of one of my committee members in helping me solidify the question. The final

version of the opening question and the one that was asked of each participant became,

-career family, what stands out to

w the participants to

expound freely on their experiences with the dual-career lifestyle. In essence, I wanted to

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open the door for the participants to tell their stories in rich, descriptive ways, and I

believed a well-stated opening question could open that door.

I participated in a bracketing interview prior to conducting interviews with the

participants. A former member of the University of Tennessee Phenomenology Research

Group was gracious enough to conduct my interview. I transcribed the interview myself

and presented the transcript during one of the phenomenology group meetings. Others in

the group helped me uncover the preconceptions I had regarding this population of

mothers, identifying some biases of which I needed to be aware during interviews with

participants. I learned that I had a great deal of admiration and respect for these women,

a bias that could influence not only the questions I asked during the interviews but my

analysis of the transcripts as well. In addition, I learned I needed to be aware of the role I

play as child care provider, as this could influence me to ask questions regarding child

care even if the participant chose not to mention it. Further, I learned that I needed to be

aware of the preconceived notions I had that the participants would discuss both

challenges and rewards associated with their lifestyle, as well as my notion that these

women would be balancing all aspects of their lives quite well. Finally, as the interviews

progressed, I became aware that as each participant spoke of a common theme, I began to

assume subsequent participants would speak of that theme as well. Obviously, this was

not an assumption that arose during the bracketing interview, but nonetheless it was one

that I had to keep in mind so as not to lead participants to speak of certain themes.

Once the bracketing interview was completed and the transcript analyzed, the

actual interview process began. Because it was important that the interviews be

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Weiss, R. S. (1994). Learning from strangers: The art and method of qualitative
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Weitzman, L. M., & Fitzgerald, L. F. (1993). Employed mothers: Diverse life-styles and

labor force profiles. In J. Frankel (Ed.), The employed mother and the family
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Welch, M. (1999). Phenomenology and hermeneutics. In C. Polifroni & M. Welch (Eds.),

Perspectives on philosophy of science in nursing (pp. 235-246). Philadelphia, PA:
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Whitehead, D. L. (2008). Historical trends in work-family: The evolution of earning and

caring. In K. Korabik, D. S. Lero, & D. L. Whitehead (Eds.), Handbook of work-
family integration: Research, theory, and best practices (pp. 13-36). Boston:
Elsevier Inc.



Widener, A. J. (2007). Family-friendly policy: Lessons from europe part II: Family

policies are important to families and to business [Electronic version]. The
Public Manager, 36(4), 44-49.



Wu, Z., & Macneill, L. (2002). Education, work, and childbearing after age 30. Journal
of Comparative Family Studies, 33(2), 191-213.

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