Sharma-Brymer, Vinathe and Fox, Christine, 2008, Being an educated woman in India: a phenomenological approach to narratives, Compare: a journal of comparative and international education, 38(3), 321-333.
In this article we describe the application of a phenomenological hermeneutical method for interpreting interview texts. The subject of the interviews was to ask ‘what is the experience of being an educated woman’ and get to the core of the experience as much as possible. Using an exploratory phenomenological method to document women’s narratives assumes significance to seek the meanings of women’s experiences, not truths. Texts were read as a whole, as parts and then again as a whole, recognising patterns of commonalities and differences within an individual’s narrative and across individuals’ narratives. Layers of sub-themes, main themes and a phenomenological theme were created for a deeper understanding of the lived experience. This understanding reveals new possibilities to understand the experience of being an educated woman. Methodologically the narratives illuminate women’s tensions and conflicts. Theoretically, their insights provide newer ground to analyse educated women’s experiences lived in a particular socio-cultural structure. Especially if there are contradictions in what is prophesised and what is actually lived.