Phenomenology is an approach to understanding which takes the subjective experience of the individual as central to understanding their thought, emotions, actions, and interactions in their social world.  There are a number of different applications of phenomenology as method.  For example, Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis is a qualitative research method in psychology which entails analysing core issues through the lived experience of the participants, but generalised by the author/researcher, to pick out key underlying themes.

See also idiographic account, personal reflection, participant observation, narrative analysis, empowerment practice.