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Comprehensive or Comprehensible Experience? A Case Study of Religion and Traumatic Bereavement

McGowan, W. & Cook, E. A. ORCID: 0000-0002-7608-8702 (2020). Comprehensive or Comprehensible Experience? A Case Study of Religion and Traumatic Bereavement. Sociological Research Online, 26(4), pp. 775-791. doi: 10.1177/1360780420978662


The first half of this article provides a brief overview of two respective projects concerning traumatic bereavement, in which religious faith appeared to feature amid a constellation of significant coping and sense-making mechanisms for survivors. After presenting some illustrative examples of the kind of data produced in the course of our research, the second half of the article develops a retrospectively critical appraisal of our data collection and corresponding analysis practices. In questioning the extent to which our accounts of our participants’ accounts can be considered adequate representations of social order, we critically explore the relative potential of ‘reflexivity’ for bridging the experiential gap between researchers and participants. Taken together, these reflections prompt a return to the salutary question: what counts as sociologically ‘see-able’?

Publication Type: Article
Publisher Keywords: epistemology, methodology, reflexivity, religion, traumatic bereavement
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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