A diffractive and Deleuzian approach to analysing interview data

Feminist Theory 13 (3):265-281 (2012)
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Abstract

This article explores the possibilities of considering how ‘matter and meaning are mutually constituted’ in the production of knowledge (Barad, 2007: 152) through presenting a diffractive analysis of a piece of interview data with a six-year-old boy in a preschool class. Inspired by Donna Haraway’s (1997) and Karen Barad’s (2007) theorising, I understand diffractive analysis as an embodied engagement with the materiality of research data: a becoming-with the data as researcher. Understanding the body as a space of transit, a series of open-ended systems in interaction with the material-discursive ‘environment’, diffractive analyses constitute transcorporeal engagements with data. Stacy Alaimo’s (2010) theorisation of the transcorporeal is put to work diffractively with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s (1987) thinking on the process of becoming minor or minoritarian. This implies a reconceptualisation of the very act of thinking as a transcorporeal process of engagement, going beyond the idea of reflexivity and interpretation as inner mental activities taking place in the mind of the researcher understood as separated from the data. Through my example, I argue that diffractive analysis can make visible new kinds of material-discursive realities that can have transformative and political consequences.

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