Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Eggs and the Technology/Aesthetics Divide in Qualitative Research

This morning when I was working on my journal, I came up with an image for how I conceptualize the technology/aesthetics divide in qualitative research history.  This image is tied to the ideas in the Chapter that I've written (with Silvana diGregorio) on the history and future of qualitative computing for the Handbook on Qualitative Research (Denzin and Lincoln, 4th ed.  coming out soon).  This chapter compares Denzin and Lincoln's 8 moments in qualitative research with the stages we identified in the development of qualitative computing. 

I am thinking of the first two moments--emergence of qualitative research and its solidification in the golden age--as the period when the egg was still whole.  Hence this image:

This period makes up about the first 75 years of qualitative research.  It represents the period before computer-based or digital technology use in qualitative research.

Then, in the early 70's...the eggs broke.  Qualitative computing begins AND the reflexive moment, post-modernism, and a new understanding of the social justice issues in qualitative research come to light.

Yep...this represents the last quarter of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st century in qualitative research. 

As we move solidly into the 21st century, I am hoping that these broken eggs are going to be cooked, meaning that qualitative research will be able to take advantage of the numerous strands of thought that divided in the last quarter century.  In my talk at Bogazici University I referred to this as the Technology/Aesthetics divide in qualitative research. 

 This is where I hope it is going--the cooked egg, something that causes the cracked egg to cohere and create a new form for itself.  I've been calling this new thing "Transactional Inquiry". 

I'll be talking about issues related to these concerns at the upcoming International Congress on Qualitative Inquiry. 

1 comment:

Oiseau said...

Dear Judith,
You are unique. You have an amazing way to express your thoughts.
You cerate wonderful metaphors and make things easier for understand.
Thank you!
Elif Kus Saillard