Using Documentary Film for Authentic Representation of Phenomenological Research

Gina Haines, Christopher Klopper


My search to authentically and visually represent a group of workers’ lived experiences and -knowledge of their often interrelated personal and work-related strengths mediated by those experiences saw me combining a written research study with a visual, cinematic documentary resulting in the production of “Project Happiness: The Lived Experience”. This paper overviews the methodological considerations involved when using a visual form of data presentation, specifically in terms of data collection, analysis and dissemination. I begin by describing the project’s genesis and development, the theoretical (notably phenomenological) underpinnings and methodologies, including positive psychology measures and documentary-making, and how these played out in the data collection and analysis related with this project. A brief account of relevant research findings is provided. Discussion focuses on the interweaving of positive psychology with phenomenology and reflection on the crystallization and creative illustration of the research outcomes.

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Copyright (c) 2014 Gina Haines, Christopher Klopper

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Journal of Social Science Studies ISSN 2329-9150

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