International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

A narrative approach towards identity research within a paradigm of hermeneutic interpretivism
E.A. Kruger, Prof. W. Van Wyk, Dr. H.S. Rhoodie

Research explored musical identity as phenomenon by interpreting the narratives of undergraduate students of Western Art Music at a South African tertiary institution. The participating music students shared what they perceived as real-life experiences and defined their views on human self-definition with reference to their chosen study field. The research approach featured a philosophical framework of hermeneutic interpretivism. Such a non-positivist approach viewed the lived experiences of the music students as existing not on their own, but as being dependent on interpretation to establish the meanings these students attributed to musical identity. The methodology included a qualitative approach which was done from a narrative perspective through analysis of data and interpretation of told life stories. A philosophical framework of hermeneutic interpretivism implies an integration of unfamiliar knowledge or content into existing knowledge, context or content. This interpretation of narratives was done through the application of the hermeneutic circle.

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