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The approach a phenomenological researcher might take when researching this topic and a suitable research question for a phenomenological inquiry into the topic
What benefits can be learned from the legalization of Cannabis in Canada to inform its legalization in the UK?
Key aspects of the methodology they would need to research this topic
The data source
The data source will be the group or team of cross-party members of parliament who went to Canada on a fact-finding trip to find out how Cannabis legalisation in Canada and the challenges the country has experienced so far can help inform the possibility of the plant (currently a Class B drug in the United Kingdom) to be legalised in the UK within the next five or decade to come.
The method of capturing this data
The method that will be used to capture data here is the use of semi-structure in-depth phenomenological interviews using open-ended questions with the members of parliament. The interview questions will be directed to the MP’s convictions, beliefs, feelings and experiences concerning the theme or topic in question (how they feel concerning whether or not legalisation of Cannabis in Canada has benefited the country and the challenges, as well as their experiences of these benefits and how this can inform legalisation of the drug in the UK). The MPs will be asked to share their views and reflections on the value of this legalisation in Canada. Data will be collected concerning the MPs’ feelings and thoughts in a direct way. The focus will be to allow the description of lived experiences in Canada in a manner that is free from the influence or constructs of society ad intellect. The researcher will be directed towards people’s lifeworld and the researcher an experiencing interpreter, what is called epoche which describes a situation where al generalisations, theorising and abstraction are avoided or abstaining from different influences which might bias the description. This will allow the research to focus on how things happen in experience. This will lead to a kind of reciprocal interview where both the MPs (research subjects) and researcher will be engaged in a dialogue. The interview will involve an interchange of opinions or views between two individuals in a conversation concerning a common theme of interest, in this case, whether the benefits and challenges of legalising Marijuana in Canada can lead to the possibility of its legalisation in the UK. The goal of this interview will be to try to comprehend the world from the MPs’ view points and unfold meaning of their experiences during the trip (Langdridge, 2021).
The analysis they would need to use to satisfy the research question
Analysis will involve working in a dynamic and fluid manner and the use of imagination and intuition. A descriptive approach of revealing hidden meanings will be done by dwelling on the data and examining it to deepen understanding of the benefits and challenges that Canada experienced from legalising marijuana from the MPs’ points of view. This analysis will involve undertaking systematic and repeated readings. The Emergent understandings will then be documented while remaining cautious, open and provisional concerning the emerging themes (Langdridge, 2021).
Interpretative repertoires, subject positions and ideological dilemmas and a suitable research question for a discursive inquiry into the topic
How do UK members of parliament talk about Marijuana as drug for recreational use?
The strengths and limitations of using the discursive approach to research this topic
One strength of interpretative repertoire is its nature as a recurrently used and easily recognisable way of writing or talking about phenomena. In this case, interpretative repertoire can analyse the recurrent and easily recognisable way of how people talk about the legalisation of Cannabis. As a form of a blended approach, interpretative repertoires also act as a bridge between macro and micro discourse and sheds light how cultural understandings create contexts for making meaning within local interactions. This analysis pays attention to the details concerning the construction of identity and the cultural and social contexts which create meanings and categories in interactions. Being a form of the blended discursive approach, interpretative repertoires provide an understanding concerning how and which identity is constructed. Interpretative repertoire can provide patterns on how different people talk concerning Cannabis and the likely challenges or benefits of legalising the drug in the UK (Davies and Horton-Salway, 2021, p401). Another strength of interpretative repertoire is its ability to permeate the wider social or macro contexts, they are available ways to culturally talk about phenomena, and how they are discussed in micro or local interactions. These are what are referred to as representations or discourses in interpretative repertoire. According to Davies and Horton-Salway (2021, p401), interpretative repertoires are very flexible sources for discourse which can be drawn to perform various functions and make appropriate distinct identities which can be resisted or taken accordingly in local interactions. Different interpretative repertoires lead to unique identities. Therefore, interpretative repertoires have an association to identities. On the other hand, subject positions, which are basically subject slots made available by the interpretative repertoires have an advantage of its ability to make distinct positions within discourse which those spoken to or speakers can identify. For instance, those who use cannabis can be identified as ‘bad people’ or MPs who legalise Cannabis can be identified as ‘bad leaders’ and those who oppose its legalisation can be referred to as ‘good leaders’. Another advantage of using subject positions is its highly available nature making it easy to use depending on different situations. The weakness of this approach emerges from the constraining or limiting effects associated with the discourses which are culturally available from human experiences. It also theorises people who are actively engaged in local identity production. Subject positions is also a flexible resource which can be used in local interactions for different functions and as a tool for creating identity. The common weakness of both interpretative repertoire and subject positions as discursive approaches of examining talk and text is their likelihood to be resisted as tools for forming identity (Davies and Horton-Salway, 2021, p403).
Connolly, J., 2019. Cannabis “to be legalised in the UK” within five to ten years, say MPs, BBC News, 29 July. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/newsbeat-49073222 (Accessed: 20 May 2020).
Davies, A., and Horton-Salway, M., 2021. Why focus on discourse? Discursive psychology and identity. Lecture Chapter 9
Langdridge, D., 2021. Why focus on experience? Introducing phenomenological psychology. Lecture Chapter 8.
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