Rhizoanalysis: Disrupting conventional qualitative research

Year: 2014

Author: Diana, Masny

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

    This presentation deploys rhizoanalysis to configure qualitative research differently, one influenced by Deleuze and Guattari. This position is illustrated in a research study that explores the interrelationship of multiple writing systems with 5- to 8 –year- old multilingual children in the context of school and home. Multiple Literacies Theory is the conceptual framework. What might doing research rhizoanalytically entail?  Could it be that the conventional term “methodology” no longer applies?  In this presentation, doing research rhizomatically becomes an experiment with reading participants, observations and interviews and palpating data that has direct implications for education and for an emerging theory of learning. This presentation is interested in the following questions How does rhizoanalysis function and what does doing research rhizomatically produce? The rhizome and the assemblage deterritorialize concepts such as literacy and methodology and reterritorializes them as literacies and rhizoanalysis.  The concept of rhizome/rhizoanalysis opens up potentialities for thinking differently about literacies and empirical research. Both rhizoanalysis and Multiple Literacies Theory are based on an ontology stemming from Deleuze and Guattari concepts of anti-representation, interpretosis, decentered subject, immanence and difference. Moreover, Multiple Literacies Theory is a conceptual framework that is both theoretical and practical and provides potentialities for change to happen while reading, reading the world and self. A rhizome has no roots: no beginning, no end (Deleuze & Guattari). It has horizontal shoots, stemming from the middle of a rhizome to anywhere along a shoot. Some shoots take off in unpredictable directions. These are lines of flight, lines of becoming that focus on process. Multiple Literacies Theory consists of literacies-becoming through a rhizomatic process and provides potentialities of what yet might become. A two-year qualitative study on five families coming from a multilingual background is presented. Filmed observations happened in class and home. Each observation was followed by an interview. Materials produced at school and at home were also included. The structure of presenting and working with findings is innovative because of ontological workings with the project.  A discourse process emerges to report findings rhizomatically in connection with Multiple Literacies Theory. Intermezzo      The contribution consists of an ontological approach underlying rhizoanalysis and Multiple Literacies Theory that opens different paths in which reading, reading the world and self produce different readings of the lives of young children and their families. This perspective has important implications on how children learn and the importance of ontology in poststructural research in education.         :