The Hands Have It: Tactile Participation and Maximum Grip in the Aviation Sector

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The hands involve knowing, sensing, and intuition. In our use of them as qualitative researchers, we have the capacity to enrich our understanding through our tactile engagement with things and people. Drawing on Heidegger (2003) and Merleau-Ponty’s (2014) phenomenology, this article examines the use of the hands in a qualitative study with a commercial aeroplane pilot, in which the hands were integral for understanding how to operate an aircraft simulator and fly a Cherokee aeroplane, used for training commercial pilots. By being there and engaging with things, we can attempt to acquire an optimal grasp of our research participant’s worlds, thus providing insightful ways of knowing and making sense of our qualitative data.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)199-214
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019


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