Purposeful Entanglements: A New Materialist Analysis of Transformative Interviews

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In this article, we explore transformative interviewing through the lens of new materialism. Rather than viewing transformation through a humanist perspective that centralizes a transcendent self, we draw upon Barad’s agential realism to reconsider transformation following the ontological turn. Thinking with agential realism, we engaged two interview studies, one on biracialism and one on masculinity, to demonstrate how the materiality of our interviews (e.g., research bodies, computer programs, questionnaires) intra-acted with our participants to both facilitate and hinder our attempts at transformation. We conclude by theorizing transformation as a type of purposeful entanglement that proceeds from the material-discursive intra-actions of our inquiries.


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Qualitative Inquiry