Escaping the trap, together

Year: 2021

Author: Ali, Muhammad

Type of paper: Symposium

Qualitative methodology was invented to escape research from the trap of rigid structure but with time, it “has become so formalized, systematic and positivised” (St. Pierre, 2013, p. 603), that it has failed to respond to the complexities of the social world that have emerged because of post-structural/post-modern thinking. Because of the prescribed methodology and particular way of writing, academic writing has become a practice of producing homogenised and “boring” texts (Richardson, 2018). In this presentation I ask, “can academic writing/life be escaped from the trap of the rigid methodology/way of writing?”  To respond to this question, I share how being part of the DRAW (Departing Radically in Academic Writing) group makes room for me to experiment creatively and critically in my doctoral thesis to write differently and creatively to escape the trap of methodology. I turn to the creative and critical work of Laurel Richardson, Elizabeth St. Pierre, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari who have pushed the boundaries of academic writing and shown us the possibility of writing differently. To escape the trap of writing constraints and boring texts, Richardson and St. Pierre (2018) coined the phrase, “writing as a method of inquiry. Richardson (1997) reminds us that writing is a “field of play”, and through experimentation with writing, one can create vital and interesting texts. St. Pierre (2018) pushes further the limits and for her writing is a way of thinking, analysing, discovering and process of “producing different knowledge and producing knowledge differently” (p. 1426). For Deleuze and Guattari (1987), writing is not just mimicking or representing but rather, “a map not a tracing… an experimentation in contact with the real” (p.12) and collaboratively they write “to bring things to life, to free life from where it’s trapped” (Deleuze 1995, p. 141).ReferencesDeleuze, G., & Guattari, F. (1987). A thousand plateaus: Capitalism and schizophrenia (B. Massumi, Trans.). University of Minnesota Press.Deleuze, G. (1995). Negotiations: 1972-1990 (M. Joughin, Trans.). Columbia University Press.Richardson, L., & St. Pierre, E. A. (2018). Writing: A method of inquiry. In N. K. Denzin &  Y. S. Lincoln (Eds.), The Sage handbook of qualitative research (3rd ed., pp. 959- 978). SAGE Publications.Richardson, L. (1997). The fields of play: Constructing an academic life. Rutgers University Press. St. Pierre, E. A. (2011). Writing post qualitative inquiry. Qualitative Inquiry, 24(9),603-608.