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Disrupting Qualitative Inquiry

Possibilities and Tensions in Educational Research


Edited By Ruth Nicole Brown, Rozana Carducci and Candace R. Kuby

Disrupting Qualitative Inquiry is an edited volume that examines the possibilities and tensions encountered by scholars who adopt disruptive qualitative approaches to the study of educational contexts, issues, and phenomena. It presents a collection of innovative and intellectually stimulating chapters which illustrate the potential for disruptive qualitative research perspectives to advance social justice aims omnipresent in educational policy and practice dialogues. The book defines «disruptive» qualitative methodologies and methods in educational research as processes of inquiry which seek to:
1) Disrupt traditional notions of research roles and relationships
2) Disrupt dominant approaches to the collection and analysis of data
3) Disrupt traditional notions of representing and disseminating research findings
4) Disrupt rigid epistemological and methodological boundaries
5) Disrupt disciplinarily boundaries and assumptive frameworks of how to do educational research
Scholars and graduate students interested in disrupting traditional approaches to the study of education will find this book of tremendous value. Given the inclusion of both research examples and reflective narratives, this book is an ideal text for adoption in introductory research design seminars as well as advanced courses devoted to theoretical and practical applications of qualitative and interpretive methodologies.
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Chapter Five: Always Already Inquiry: A/r/tography as a Disruptive Methodology


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Always Already Inquiry

A/r/tography as a Disruptive Methodology


To engage in a living inquiry is to learn to let go, to leave the spurious safety of Research—that crumbling roof over Education that often separated us from life and rarely protected us anyway—and to enter an open field, ears and wings bristling. (Neilsen, 2008, p. xvi.)

As qualitative researchers engaged in living inquiry, we have a felt sense of Lorri Neilsen’s1 bristling wings. When we read her words, the pores in our skin tighten, the muscles in our shoulder blades contract, the hairs on our arms lift; we are ready to take flight. And yet, the word bristling conjures up more than the excitement of threshing over an open field. Bristling is also to fume and to agitate. In its subtext is the need to mourn and yearn. When, as educational researchers, we take flight in the manner in which which Neilsen urged, we move aloft while also steeling ourselves for what we will see from the air.

What we will see—as Neilsen inferred, and others (e.g., St. Pierre & Pillow, 2000) have evoked—are the ruins of research-as-usual. Within the education field, certain research methods have attained a privileged status through their claims to produce valid, generalizable, and replicable results, despite oppositional efforts to question what is lost in the processes of...

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