Doing abductive research and analysing mundane practices within health care settings

Frances Richardson, Jenny Carryer, Suzanne Phibbs

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference paper presented at Conference (not in Proceedings)peer-review


Abductive research eschews a focus on identifying general themes that cut across participants transcripts in favour of exploring the specificities of language meaning and context within individual stories. The progression from lay descriptions of social life provided by participants to technical descriptions of socials life developed by the researcher forms the process of analysis within and abductive methodological approach (Blakie, 2000). In this paper an abductive approach to narrative research is illustrated through drawing upon Bourdieu's ideas about doxa, field, habitus and (dis) interested practices. Two stories are presented which identify how doxic attitudes and practices operate in a community mental health setting in a rest home where the research participant worked. In both stories the effects of doxa are unconscious, defended as common sense or the routines though which patients and staff become complicit in their own domination by accepting the habitus of the field as normal (Bourdieu, 1994). It is argued that abductive research strategy , when combined with social theory, provides a way for health researchers to analyse everyday practices within health care settings.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event7th Biennial Conference: International Society of Critical Health Psychology - University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia
Duration: 18 Apr 201120 Apr 2011
Conference number: 7th Biennial Conference International Society of Critical Health Sociology


Conference7th Biennial Conference


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