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University of Stirling



Speaking with things: Encoded researchers, social data, and other posthuman concoctions

Thompson TL & Adams C (2013) Speaking with things: Encoded researchers, social data, and other posthuman concoctions. Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory, 14 (3), pp. 342-361.

We apply our heuristics for ‘interviewing’ nonhuman research participants (Adams and Thompson 2011) to the digital things of qualitative research itself: recording devices, data analysis software, and other sociomaterial concoctions recruited at different stages of contemporary research projects. We suggest that these ‘inorganic organized’ entities participate as co-researchers that inevitably extend but also disrupt research practice and knowledge construction, introducing new tensions and contradictions. Counterpointing phenomenology and Actor Network Theory, we usher some of the hidden and coded materialities of research practice into view, and glimpse unexpected realities co-enacted. Such immersive entanglements raise ethical questions about the posthumanist fluencies now demanded in social science research practice and we outline several considerations.

Actor Network Theory; coded materialities; interviewing objects; phenomenology; posthumanist fluencies; qualitative research; sociomateriality

Distinktion: Scandinavian Journal of Social Theory: Volume 14, Issue 3

Author(s)Thompson, Terrie Lynn; Adams, Catherine
Publication date31/12/2013
Publication date online21/01/2014
PublisherTaylor and Francis
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