A researcher in Wonderland: a spiritual approach from paradigm to practice

Carrington, Ann Michelle (2010) A researcher in Wonderland: a spiritual approach from paradigm to practice. PhD thesis, James Cook University.

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Spirituality is a topic that has gained increased attention in a number of disciplines within the social sciences, including social work. The current discussion and debate of this topic within social work have raised many questions and highlighted gaps at paradigmatic, meaning, construct, theoretical and practical levels. The research engaged in a paradigmatic and theoretical journey which aimed to contribute to theory building through the articulation and authentication of spiritual paradigms and an Integrated Spiritual Practice Framework (ISPF) and application of the ISPF (at the level of ideology, theory and practice and individual). The spiritual paradigms and the ISPF were initially developed in my years as a spiritual practitioner, my undergraduate studies in social work and my Post-Graduate Honours project. This research tackled ontological, epistemological and methodological questions across four suggested spiritual paradigms, those being; spiritual positivism, spiritual constructivism, conscious spiritual and integrated spiritual.

The methods employed were semi-structured in-depth interviews, immersion, and literature survey, guided primarily by the process of meta-triangulation and secondly by the emergent Integrated Spiritual Research Model (ISRM). This process involved immersion within four spiritual ideologies (Sufism, Hinduism, Buddhism and integrated spiritual) to scrutinize and analyze the spiritual paradigms and ISPF from each spiritual ideological perspective which informed the initial understandings and structures, and led to further theory building of both. Immersion within Sufism, Hinduism and Buddhism was achieved in person and included a number of semi-structure interviews with the participating practitioners. Immersion within the integrated spiritual was achieved through literature survey of ten texts. Methods employed to demonstrate the potential application at the level of ideology, theory and practice required the additional collection of data from one text pertaining to ideology and one text pertaining to theory and practice. A self-reflective case study of the research was used in the application to the individual.

This study found that each ideological perspective provided evidence and support for the suggested spiritual paradigms, and authenticated and further build upon the basic structures of the ISPF. This resulted in the discovery of new layers within the initial framework and also discovered various distinct uses. This allowed movement from the single framework of the ISPF to its new forms as the Integrated Spiritual Theoretical Model (ISTM), the Integrated Spiritual Analytical Tool (ISAT), the Integrated Spiritual Approach to Practice (ISAP), the Integrated Spiritual Research Model (ISRM) and the Integrated Spiritual Research Approach to Practice (ISRAP). The research was able to contribute further by demonstrating the potential application of the ISAT, ISAP, ISRM and the ISRM.

Item ID: 18995
Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: spirituality, social work, paradigms, methodology, integrated, spiritual paradigms, Sufism, Buddhism, Hinduism
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2011 23:00
FoR Codes: 16 STUDIES IN HUMAN SOCIETY > 1607 Social Work > 160799 Social Work not elsewhere classified @ 34%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220402 Comparative Religious Studies @ 33%
22 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 2299 Other Philosophy and Religious Studies > 229999 Philosophy and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified @ 33%
SEO Codes: 94 LAW, POLITICS AND COMMUNITY SERVICES > 9401 Community Service (excl. Work) > 940199 Community Service (excl. Work) not elsewhere classified @ 60%
95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9504 Religion and Ethics > 950406 Religious Traditions (excl. Structures and Rituals) @ 40%
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