On Being a Juror: A Phenomenological Self-Study
Phenomenological inquiry offers a vehicle for transcending conventional disciplinary boundaries and investigative settings. Van Manen's protocol writing offers a hermeneutic tool for human scientific phenomenological research that is ideal for the empirical realm of everyday lived experience. Underlying this approach is the tenet that interpretative phenomenological research and theorizing cannot be separated from the textual practice of writing. The entirety of this paper is a protocol, in the form of a phenomenological self-study. It describes one experience in an unfamiliar environment as a criminal trial juror. It represents data capture that can stand alone for purposes of independent interpretation. Since qualitative research in the venue described is limited by protective judicial restrictions, this phenomenological protocol captures unique data in an otherwise inaccessible setting. It suggests that protocol writing offers potential as a research tool in a myriad situations where conventional data collection techniques are impractical or unavailable.