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Abduction is an approach to theory-building that involves identifying puzzles that the researcher seeks to engage with by participating in and observing social life and engaging with existing theory.
Affective (or ‘affect’) is a broad, encompassing term that is understood here to refer to the capacities of entities to physically, psychologically, emotionally or socially change their state. This usage is based on new materialist theory; it focuses attention on how matter changes through intra-actions enabled by assemblages. The emphasis here is on flows and entanglements that connect human and non-human entities.
Appropriation is taking something for one’s own use.
Axiology refers to the importance of values – aesthetic, ethical and epistemic – in shaping processes and practices of producing knowledge through research.
Colonialism is the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over someone else’s land, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically. It operates discursively to affect the thoughts and practices of the coloniser, the colonised and their descendants.
community of practice
A community of practice is a group of people with a shared set of practices, who learn from each other.
Craft is understood here as a way of thinking about research as a creative, improvised and skilful practice. This provides a counternarrative to the scientistic notion of research as the mastery of technique (see scientific method).
Cultural imperialism employs the logic that one cultural group is more ‘civilised’ than another, with a view to gaining or maintaining unequal power relations between the two.
Decolonisation is the process of removing colonial control over particular land, culture and people.
Developmentalism is a market-based economic approach to supporting ‘less developed’ economies and regions to become ‘more developed’. It is based on the assumption that all ‘developing economies’ should follow the dominant ideals of economic progress developed by (Western) economies in the global north.
Empowerment refers to seeking to mediate, ameliorate and potentially overcome unequal power relations, and to develop practices and relationships where power is equally shared.
Encounters are understood here as the means through which things come into being-becoming through intra-action.
Epistemology (or ‘epistemological’) refers to philosophical assumptions that are made about how knowledge is produced.
Global north is a term that is used to signal power relations related to colonialism and imperialism that have positioned the countries of Western Europe and North America in a dominant relationship of oppression and exploitation in relation to countries in the rest of the world, referred to as the global south.
Hybridity shows how cultural identities become obscured and undermined through colonised subjects’ mimicry of the coloniser.
Imperialism is an ideology of empire-building that informs policies to enact sovereign rule over another nation-state or territory. Imperialism is enacted through colonialism.
Indigenous peoples hold a connection to a particular territory that pre-dates colonisation of that land. Also referred to as First Nations, Native or Aboriginal peoples, indigenous peoples consider themselves the original custodians of that land.
Induction is an approach to theory-building based on the observation of patterns, recurrences and themes in data. It is often associated with qualitative research, and the grounded theory approach in particular.
Interpretivism is an epistemological perspective that assumes that:
Intersubjectivity refers here to the physical, intellectual, emotional and spiritual interconnections between people that determine who they are and link them together, individually and collectively.
is a term associated with institutional theory that seeks to explain the
tendency for organisations to conform to ideal types. Mimetic isomorphism
occurs when organisations imitate the practices of other organisations that they perceive to be successful, particularly in climates of uncertainty. Normative isomorphism arises as a consequence of mimetic isomorphism, as these
convergent patterns become increasingly normalised and prescribed.
legitimate peripheral participation
Legitimate peripheral participation is a situated, experiential learning practice where an individual learns particular practices from others through observation and participation.
Listening is understood here as a way of being in the world that relies on all the senses.
Methodology (or ‘methodological’) refers to the overall approach implied by the researchers’ choice of particular methods, in combination with their theoretical orientation and the research questions that are asked.
Methods are the cultural practices, norms and values that are accepted within a given research community as appropriate ways of doing research.
Mimicry is a term used by postcolonial theorists to refer to the ways in which colonised subjects are expected to emulate the practices of the coloniser in ways that position them as always incomplete.
Neo-positivism refers to research that involves collecting and analysing qualitative data but is based on a positivist, rather than an interpretive, epistemology. It is characterised by the use of criteria associated with the positivist paradigm to evaluate research quality; for example, by using terms such as ‘validity’, ‘member-checking’ or ‘rigor’ in ways that reflect an underlying realist ontology and a commitment to scientific method.
Occularcentric refers to the privileging of vision above other senses (touch, hearing, smell and taste) as a basis for knowing and understanding the world.
Ontology (or ‘ontological’) refers to the philosophical assumptions that inform our understanding of what is real.
Paradigm, understood as a set of accepted beliefs, values, assumptions and techniques that determine what researchers choose to study, how they study it and how research findings are interpreted.
Participant observation is a research method where the researcher observes the everyday lives and work of participants to understand how they make sense of them. This typically involves living and working with participants for extended periods.
Positionality is a term used by qualitative researchers to reflect on the extent to which a researcher’s identity and lived experience enables sufficient identification with participants to enable meaningful engagement and shared understanding.
Reciprocity is a principle that characterises research as a mutually beneficial exchange between researcher and participants who recognise each other as moral beings and enforce on each other adherence to an agreed upon set of moral norms.
In research, reflexivity refers to the researchers’ willingness to see knowledge as shaped by values, norms and situated practices of knowledge production, and to account for this in how they conduct and present themselves and their research.
Relationalities is a term used by new materialist scholars to signal the entanglements or web of relationships that constitute our being-becoming in the world.
Representations are the portrayals of particular encounters, events, situations, moments or people.
Scientific method is understood here as a master narrative that is based on modernist, Enlightenment values of scientific neutrality and objectivity. It is closely associated with a popular (although inaccurate) view of how knowledge is produced the natural sciences. The scientific method is often positioned as the ‘gold standard’ and used to discipline forms of social inquiry, including those based on post-positivism. Unreflexive or zealous application of the scientific method leads to ‘scientism’: principles and practices developed in the natural sciences are applied in areas of inquiry where their application is inappropriate and detrimental.
Self-reflexivity is a way for researchers to question things that they might otherwise take for granted, such as choices and decisions they make during the research process.
Statement of Participation
A Statement of Participation demonstrates successful completion of an online module and your interest in the subject. It can be used to demonstrate your commitment to your ongoing continuing professional development. It does not usually carry any formal credit towards a qualification, because it is not subject to the same rigour as formal assessment.
When applied to the production of knowledge, uncertainty offers a way of:
Verisimilitude is used by qualitative, interpretive researchers to refer to the need for research to be ‘true to life’ by reflecting common-sense understandings of human experience.
Walking methodologies involve walking and talking with participants as they move through a landscape that is significant to them and make connections with their surroundings.