Sense-Making as methodology for spirituality theory, praxis, pedagogy, and research
Attribute to Inter-Disciplinary Press.
The purpose of this chapter is to describe a methodology that is derived from philosophic meta-theoretic principles and designed for its capabilities for studying communication relevant to any context (e.g. – intra-personal, inter-personal, small group, mediated, organizational, societal) with any focus. The core idea of this approach – Dervin’s Sense-Making Methodology (SMM) – rests on a metaphor of human movement through a time-space that is discontinuous always at least in part; and how humans make and unmake sense as they journey through these movements. SMM has been used for numerous research, design, educational, and practice applications for 35 years. A robust number of these applications have involved attention to human sense-making (and sense-unmaking) of religion, faith, spirituality, and spirit (variously termed depending on user and focus). This chapter: a) describes the methodology and how it has been applied in ways relevant to attentions to spirituality theory, praxis, pedagogy, and research; and b) provides five case examples. The examples include: * Kathleen D. Clark’s use of SMM as a tool for studying and constructing interactions that involve attentions to spirituality – intra-personally, inter-personally, and in group settings; * Angela Coco’s use of SMM to guide her study of Catholic meaning-making in critical situations; * Lois Foreman-Wernet’s & Brenda Dervin’s use of SMM to study how both elite and popular cultural exposures can lead to sense-makings of a spiritual kind; * Christlin P. Rajendram’s use of SMM as continuing praxis for his involvements in spiritual counselling as teacher, mediator, and priest; * CarrieLynn D. Reinhard’s & Brenda Dervin’s use of SMM in their study of attentions to the spiritual and religious – both struggles and sources of help – in everyday situation-facing.
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