Accepted Paper:

Un/Re-making method: Enacting a posthumanist performative social science  


Natasha Mauthner (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper suggests that enacting a posthumanist performative social science requires un-making humanist representationalist, and re-making posthumanist performative, social research methods. The argument is illustrated through a case of a feminist method of narrative analysis.

Paper long abstract:

This paper suggests that enacting posthumanist performative social science world/knowledge-making projects and practices requires un/re-making social research methods: undoing their humanist representationalist enactments, configurations, and genealogies; and assembling posthumanist performative enactments, configurations, and genealogies. At the same time, the un/re-making of method demands un/re-making the very practices of un/re-making method. This paper is a contribution toward this project (see Mauthner, 2015, 2016a, 2016b). It enacts a posthumanist performative approach to knowing/enacting (the un/re-making of) social research methods through the articulation of two proposed material-discursive practices: "diffractive genealogies" and "metaphysical practices." These practices are posthumanist performative ways of knowing/enacting social research methods as both objects of study (that can be un/re-made) and agencies of observation (that can be un/remade). They are "diffractive" (Barad 2007; Haraway 1992, 1997) in that they account for the posthumanist performative metaphysics they embody and enact. This posthumanist performative un/re-making of social research methods is illustrated through a case study of Lyn Brown and Carol Gilligan's (1992) Listening Guide feminist method of narrative analysis, a method I have been engaged with for over two decades.

Panel T014
Considering the performativity of our own research practices