Notes on: Denzin, N. (2019) The Qualitative Manifesto. A Call to Arms. London: Routledge Classic Edition.

Dave Harris

[Probably a series of addresses tohis conference. Differnt themes but same structure --exhortation, global community/business is booming, lists of criteria to address criticisms, particular focus on ethics or indigenous scholarship, naff 'plays' with ventriloquism, then an encouraging assertive 'coda'. Increasingly about university micropolitics. Revealing appendices on how this stuff is taught and what his ethical criteria amount to (one of several versions) Very dull and repetitive to read]

The book is an invitation to all scholars but they must 'believe in the unbreakable connection between critical inquiry and social action' (ix). It is for those who want to perform work aimed at social justice. It is about democracy and racism in a 'post–post-modern world… Late Neoliberal capitalism'.

There is still a global war on terror, universal loneliness anxiety and fear, repressive right-wing governments and 'A managerial, audit based economy rules in the Academy while dissenting voices are silenced'. [All one struggle etc]. Qualitative researchers in the past opposed capitalism and then moved towards multiple and mixed methods. Privacy is being invaded. So once again we need to 'move forward into an uncertain, open-ended utopian future' (x). We need new spaces decolonising the Academy, ways of connecting private troubles to 'social justice methodologies'. We must also revisit the old paradigms wars of the 1980s.

We need a critical framework privileging 'practice, politics, action, consequences, performances, discourses, methodologies of the heart, and pedagogies of hope, love, care, forgiveness, and healing' [all these are assumed to lead in the same direction]. In particular we need to look at racism poverty and sexism.

There are still criticisms of qualitative inquiry — that it is nonscientific, too political, romantic post-modernism and the rest. But critical inquiry requires a constant concern with epistemological methodological and ethical issues, and different responses to these criticisms. We must 'listen to our critics', 'in the spirit of inclusion' (xi) but renew our own efforts to honour silenced voices. We need to do this 'in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration and mutual self-respect' [rather too late for you], and show how qualitative research changes the world in positive ways, 'as a form of radical democratic practice'.

There are new multiple discourses and different perspectives, but an underlying unity — 'the "interpretive, performance paradigm"' running from Autoethnography to critical theory, to various liberatory social justice discourses. This is a unity based on a globalised acceptance, integration of critical qualitative inquiry into 'interpretive public social science discourse'.

The boundary between quantitative and qualitative is now blurring, for example radical feminists use biostatistics and 'bio social studies' [pre-Barad of course?], And there is a new interest in big data and digital technology. There are however alternative ontology is an subversive uses of statistics. Some traditionalists want to return to traditional ethnographic methods.
The new interpretive poststructural research is sustained by various international associations [four that he is associated with]. It is now seen as a legitimate part of social sciences humanities and even health sciences or education, even military. This is resulted from 'sophisticated participatory, community and cooperative action discourse' as well as decolonising initiatives. There are still neoliberal discourses which 'attempt to scientize qualitative approaches through evidence-based research efforts' (xii). These include Bourdieu influenced ethnography in the journal Ethnography, and there are major centres elsewhere, even in indigenous scholarship. However there are international associations in the southern hemisphere 'informed by a Kaupapa Maori worldview'. There's even a new forum for critical Chinese qualitative research under the aegis of the ICQI, and a Korean Association and the Japanese Association, and some in Latin America.

As social science has grown, there are 'now many different versions of what science is' [in the best version] qualitative sciences 'interpretive and practical, a science that matters, a science based on common sense, focused on values and power, relevant to the needs of ordinary citizens and policymakers'. There are calls for new local sciences, socially situated practices, or 'organic public social science' where the scholar collaborates with local communities. These are important forms of resistance 'to the narrow, hegemonic scientifically based research framework. It is no longer possible to talk about a monolithic model of science' (xiii).

However, there is also been increasing right-wing dominants beginning with the war of terror under Bush and then Donald Trump — 'the politics of extremism, misogyny, and ultra-nationalism', depending on the ability to manipulate the media, to lie and misrepresent, and create media spectacles. This is a whole 'politician – entertainer – reality TV president' his self-righteous and fuels resentment hatred and bigotry. It is 'a dis-eased embodied pedagogy of fear and war based on fake news' [so we are still using that term]. It looks increasingly like fascism, and the social fabric is unravelling. However the new generation of college students will make a difference they will both 'imagine and perform a multiracial society… Where differences are honoured' this will involve opposition to the representations and interpretations of the racial order in the media and in social science. However we can shake this by our own efforts to 'read, write, perform and critique culture'(xiv). This will be 'a critical performative pedagogy which turns the ethnographic into the performative, and the performative into the political'. We can then 'dream our way into a militant Democratic utopian space… [Where]… The colour line disappears and justice for all is more than a dream'. This is how performance-based disciplines can contribute to radical social change to cultural politics and to new notions of democracy and social justice.

This book represents his desire to contribute to a 'critical discourse on democracy and racism in post-modern but not post-racial societies'


C Wright Mills was his hero,[although he knows he has feet of clay too]  wanting sociologist to join biography history and culture via sociological imagination. The project was to change society. This is still inspiring and led to his own struggles, for example with conventional ways to write and teach, before critical pedagogy and before the advent of performance narratives. Mills challenged us to develop a point of view and a way of examining how the private troubles of individuals in experience are connected to public issues.

He quoted Marx about how human beings do not determine their existence, to focus on the role of communications and designs patterns and values. There is no direct access to reality [Barad would want to argue with that] except through symbolic representations. We must therefore study representations of experiences and the ways they are formed — 'we are all storytellers, statisticians and ethnographers alike' (2) [relativist stuff]. Mills wanted to make a difference and develop radical democracy. However he has never been systematically discussed, so this is Denzin's answer to develop a critical methodology and the sociological imagination, both moral and methodological, political.

There is an international community of qualitative researchers but it is under attack from various other methodological advocates — qualitative research has been seen as nonscientific, of little value, not worth funding, and some Conservative governments have adopted this view. There's been pressure on graduate training and scholarly journals, especially from 'the evidence – based movement' (3). Traditional ethnographers have questioned the post-modern turn [including Hammersley 2008], tried to marginalise it and politicise it [sic], saying it involves political correctness radical relativism, armchair commentary. Sometimes the earlier classic traditions are invoked. Observation has been recommended to replace the privileging of discourse. 'All of these voices need to be heard. We must be willing to learn from one another' [repeated several times]

The international community of qualitative research scholars have in some cases resisted this pressure and interrogated what criticism might mean. There are been important 'international meetings… Global conversations'. Although numbers now dominate our world, we have managed to critique them — models of objectivity and impact are very narrow, for example, and things like citation and impact scores are unsuitable for purpose [very parochial -- are health or income stats useless?]  . Instead, 'we must create our own standards of evaluation… Quality, influence, excellence, and social justice impact'. This will offer more partisan work offering critique of social settings, and this will [it just will]  'promote human dignity, human rights, and just societies around the globe'. As a result, we 'need international journals, conferences, congresses and book series' (4), always focused on the local and human justice. Human beings will be seen as 'universal singulars, individuals and groups universalising in their singularity the transformative life experiences of their historical moment' [I seem to recall this is based on Sartre in some way. I don't think it is the same as the deleuzian notion of a singularity which, in Guattari and Rolnik leads to a politics of permitting singularities].

This particular approach is 'performative, dialogical, pedagogical — it tells by showing' [and leads to his own naff plays in later chapters]. They are supposed to be performed in pedagogical spaces. Performance is a way of knowing and understanding, as a way of creating critical consciousness, although not all qualitative researchers agree. The primary focus is to link personal and community troubles with public policies and institutions designed to address them [get black people to perform little sagas of their personal lives and demonstrate how limited official policy is? Makes sense only with relativism again though].

Qualitative researchers always been connected with race and colonialism, ranging from the early ethnography assisting colonisation and assimilation. We can explain the development in terms of eight historical moments [yawn] — traditional, modernist, blurred genre, the crisis of representation, the post-modern, post-experimental inquiry, the methodologically contested present and the future [there are dates attached as well]. The future means that we will have to contest evidence-based approaches stress again moral discourse and 'the development of sacred textualities '(5) [holy books from indigenous people?], Part of a wider critical conversation about democracy, freedom and community.

The post-modern and pre-experimental moments featured a concern 'for literary and rhetorical tropes and the narrative turn'. This began to doubt the privilege of any particular method or theory by the likes of Ellis or Richardson. Epistemological theorising can be traced across eight moments, starting with the positivist or foundational program, then post positivist argument, then a whole new variety of interpretive qualitative perspectives 'including hermeneutics, structuralism, semiotics, phenomenology, cultural studies and feminism' [pretty eclectic bunch]. The humanities became resources for this theory and the researcher 'became a bricoleur' borrowing from different disciplines [an illusory and partial borrowing in my view].

In the crisis of representation, the problem became how to locate selves and subjects in reflexive texts [?] There was interflow between the humanities and the social sciences and we learned how to produce texts that were no longer 'simplistic, linear, incontrovertible'. Context became blurred with text. There is a move away from 'foundational and quasi-foundational criteria'[but then, without even noticing the inconsistency] 'alternative evaluative criteria were sought… Evocative, moral, critical, and rooted in local understandings' [some sort of perversion of the idea of a petty narrative?]

There have always been a small set of beliefs, however, among the users of qualitative research, including objectivism and an [bad] interest in theoretical interpretation of behaviour and experience. These have been complicit with colonialism and positivism and global white patriarchal capitalism. Positivism failed to address these beliefs. The 'colour line', will persist, until people of different races and religions are '"integrated into the democratic whole"' [quoting DuBois, in the 1920s]. Lingering positivism must be transcended even in post positivism. It is still institutionally supported in various auditing systems and programs like No Child Left Behind.

The current qualitative research community contains 'groups of globally dispersed persons' (6) who still apparently have a common critical interpretive approach. They are interested in the 'terrifying conditions that define daily life'. They deploy all sorts of gripping methods including constructivist, feminist, queer and critical race theory. They are on the 'boundaries between post positivism and post structuralism'[weird classification again] and come from different interconnecting disciplines. They are bricoleurs using multiple research strategies [the dreaded Kincheloe is the source for much of this]. They continue to wrestle with new criteria for evaluating their own work. However some fields still use the old frameworks and that's okay too because we 'are all interpretive bricoleurs' [doesn't want to upset the indigenous? Bricolage = relativism?].

There is no single paradigms to be imposed, but multiple projects 'including the decolonising methodological project of indigenous scholars' [and just about everyone else from Marxists to poetic, queer and reflexive ethnographies, even 'projects connected to the British cultural studies and Frankfurt schools']. However, there is a generic focus — 'the politics of the local and utopian politics of possibility… That redresses [!] Social injustices and imagines a radical democracy' (7).

Of course qualitative inquiry texts have been commodified [but there is a good side — they are widely circulated]. The subjects themselves can demand rights. There is a challenge from 'feminist, postcolonial and queer theorists' toward the gendered nature of the classic ethnographic text. 'Today there is no solidified ethnographic identity. The ethnographer works within a hybrid reality', so we must always ask not only who we are but when where and how we are [citing Marcus]. [should begin by asking what we do specifically in universities and academic faculties]

Qualitative research is 'moral, allegorical, and therapeutic', no longer just recording human experience, but writing 'tiny moral tales', doing more than just celebrating cultural difference — the story is designed to 'help men and women endure and prevail'

There have been constant breaks and ruptures, but there is still 'a shifting centre to the project: the avowed humanistic and social justice commitment to study the social world from the perspective of the interacting individual' [some individuals more than others]. This produces liberal and radical politics of action supported by feminists, critical, ethnic, and cultural studies researchers [and others]. This is a point of unity. [Then a description of his ensuing chapters, including a demand that qualitative research continue to be published, and social justice pursued — intriguingly, via a 'short one act play' [can't wait to read that one].

So overall performance studies paradigms will understand performance as both a form of inquiry and a form of activism and contribute to critical citizenship. This will be the critical sociological imagination empowering people 'to act on their own utopian impulses'(9). This will be part of a great historical tradition — 'etched in history, memory, dreams, hope, pain, resistance, and joy'

[Some delightfully brief definitions of terms like semiotics in the notes, including 'post-modernism: a contemporary sensibility, developing since World War II which privileges no single authority, method or paradigm' (10).]

Chapter 1

There is a global community of qualitative researchers. They are  'searching for a new middle [and] moving in several 'different directions at the same time' (11) [no wonder they can't find a middle ground!] All the movements mentioned before are circulating, including various methodological moments.

The evidence-based research movement 'seeks total domination; one shoe fits everyone'. The central issues are the politics and ethics of evidence, but also 'matters of equity and social justice'. We should listen to our critics but also renew our efforts 'to de-colonise the Academy, to honour the voices of those who have been silenced by dominant paradigms', naturally in the spirit of mutual self-respect.

At the same time we need to move forward, open up new spaces, explore new discourses. The point is to connect people and personal troubles to social justice methodologies and to consider institutional sites where they are linked at the moment. This requires a critical framework model after Wright Mills, but also Paolo Freire [and others] we should privilege 'practice, politics and action' and include 'performance discourses, methodologies of the heart, pedagogies of hope'(12)[in their own right?]. We need to speak for those on the margins, develop a liberationist philosophy, focused on the 'consequences of racism, poverty and sexism on the lives of individuals' [so the Holy Trinity has survived post-modern critique?]. We can work through the criticisms directed at qualitative inquiry and articulate new stances and responses.

We can return to the paradigms wars of the 1980s, via Teddlie and Tashakkori and their histories of periods of conflict — first of all neopositivism versus constructivism, then competition between post positivist and critical theory, then the current conflict between evidence-based methodology and mixed methods. Guba tried to call for dialogue and an end to these wars. Qualitative research developed specialisms, sometimes with their own paradigms and journals [is this good or bad? Still a matter of paradigm wars or Edbiz?]. Apparently, each advocate argued for purity and against combination on the grounds that paradigm assumptions were different [theory as micropolitics as ever] . As an example, some invoked triangulation to combine multiple methods [but not all]. Things became 'soft, a-political, pragmatic' after 1990 where methods became compatible and it was possible to use both according to what works [that's because the first onslaught on sociology was threatening the whole discipline]. However 'what works' involves the 'politics of evidence'. There was a moment nevertheless of 'abstracted empiricism', avoiding politics and biography and history in favour of 'technological rationality.'

Qualitative inquiry is still criticised [with a tedious list of bullet points 13 – 14 – nonscientific, fictional, armchair inquiry, moral only, low quality research, not rigorous, no well-defined variables and so on]. At the most, qualitative inquiry could lead onto subsequent experimental methods, but 'the epistemologies of critical race, queer, postcolonial, feminist and post-modern theories are rendered useless'. At the same time, there were criticisms of identity politics and feminist theory, and post-colonialism in anthropology — the issue was 'who had the right to speak for whom, and how' (14). Representing 'postcolonial hybrid identities' became a particular issue, raising whole issues about writing, agency, self, culture, race and gender, showing an early connection between experimental writing and these important issues.

Positivism is a narrow view of science, and its experimentalism is a throwback, to days when quantitative methods were exclusively used. Instead, those researchers need to understand 'that all facts are value- and theory- laden; there is no objective truth' [so there can be no objective truth about post-colonialism either?]. Poststructuralists subjected on the grounds of 'reason and truth' [who does he have in mind — presumably discourse imperialists?], and the attack on qualitative research was 'an attempt to legislate one version of truth over another'.

There have been some changes in the debates. Positivism used to dominate, but not any more — 'the myth of the objective observer has been deconstructed' (15), and situatedness is acknowledged — situated practices also define public issues and the way they are linked to private troubles. There is no God's eye view, no certainty. All observation is theory laden, and knowledge can never be value free [elides  both senses of Weber's point here? Sociology can never be value free, but it should be value neutral?].

Critical social science now is grounded in 'a commitment to critical pedagogy and communitarian feminism with hope but no guarantees' (15) [pretty much as suspected — not much of a grounding]. The task is to understand the operation of power and ideology in various discourses commodities and texts, and in particular how this leads to '"decisive performances of race, class [and] gender"' [quoting Downing]. This means we now perform culture not just write it.

There are many different forms of qualitative inquiry and 'multiple criteria for evaluating our work' [some of it outlined in the ludicrous Appendix 2]. We are enjoying a new day. We continue to believe that 'critical qualitative inquiry inspired by the sociological imagination can make the world a better place'. [Evidence for that? What sort of evidence would be acceptable? Only the testimony of the oppressed?].

Qualitative inquiry contributes to social justice in different ways. It helps to identify different definitions of a problem, especially if there is agreement that change is required — for example showing how battered wives interpret the provisions for them. This will help us compare their perspectives with those of social workers [assuming that only the victims' perspectives are the right ones?]. Various interested parties like policymakers can have their assumptions identified 'and shown to be correct, or incorrect' (16) [but I thought there was no objective truth and all that?] [Becker is cited here and elsewhere, on taking sides]. Strategic points of intervention can be identified to improve programs. Alternative moral points of view can be interpreted and assessed [Becker again]. [And the clincher…] 'Programmes must always be judged by and from the point of view of the persons most directly affected'. [Assumes wants=needs etc] We can expose the limits of statistics and statistical evaluations by placing emphasis instead 'on the uniqueness of each life'. Here, 'the individual case… [Is]… The measure of the effectiveness of all applied programs' [no guidance as to what happens if the individuals disagree, however, or if there is a zero-sum game].

In this way, critical qualitative inquiry will become 'central to the workings of a free democratic society'. We need to stress interpretation and understanding — 'there is only interpretation': everyone interprets and makes judgements about other people's behaviour and experiences. 'Many times these interpretations and judgements are based on faulty or incorrect understandings… Persons mistake their own experiences for the experiences of others', [not a problem for qualitative researchers though?] and this gets incorporated into social programs addressing troubled people. The people themselves may have quite different meanings interpretations and experiences and this is why 'the programs don't work' so the human disciplines and social sciences 'are under a mandate' to clarify how interpretations and understandings emerge and this knowledge should evaluate programs if they are to be effective. [Lots of problems with this, including an automatic preference for the views of clients over experts, not considering how individuals might contradict each other, and an observed voluntarism imagining that a simple qualitative report will change policy — elsewhere he knows full well the ideology is much more deeply rooted than that. How is political change to be brought about by this work — by radicalising the clients? Demoralising the experts? Helping the government argue that social programs don't work and therefore can be cut?]

The main criteria for evaluating qualitative work are 'moral and ethical', (17) based on certain understandings. This is a political and ethical question involving 'aesthetics, ethics and epistemologies' [the bit about aesthetics is quite interesting and seems to be based upon a black power slogan that black is beautiful which crops up once or twice]. Knowledge is power, and power is used to determine what is aesthetically pleasing and ethical. 'A feminist, communitarian sense' realises this and argues that even epistemology is moral and ethical, involving concepts of who the human being is '(ontology)' and how differences are organised and represented. There is a political and epistemological ethic defining 'what is good, true, and beautiful to positions previously silenced or ignored'.

Any representations should show 'interpretive sufficiency' and possess a certain detail 'emotionality, nuance and coherence that will permit a critical consciousness or what Paolo Freire terms conscientisation'. So that the oppressed can gain a voice and transform their own culture. There should also be 'representational adequacy', free of stereotyping. Finally there should be 'authentic adequacy' where texts represent multiple voices, 'enhance moral discernment… Promote social transformation' [quoting somebody called Christians]. People should be empowered so they can discover moral truths and generate social criticism leading to social transformation. Lincoln also has five criteria: [yawn] — author positionality, the need to address the community, to engage silent and marginalised persons, to explore authors' understandings before during and after the experience, and demonstrate a reciprocal openness between researchers and participants [which could be fun — do the oppressed believe in relativism?].

On to aesthetics. These are always based on moral standpoints as in the Afrocentric feminist aesthetic and epistemology that led to the slogan black is beautiful. Here there is storytelling, and 'the notion of wisdom that is experiential and shared' such wisdom is derived from local experience and also 'expresses lore, folktale and myth' (18) [implying that local experience is not just based on direct experience, but religious or cultural elements as well. Also implies that lore , folktale and myth are wholly liberating]. Epistemology and aesthetics are linked biologically, based on moral dialogue, ethic of care and responsibility [always?]. It imagines how a truly democratic society might look free of race prejudice and oppression [always?]. It celebrates difference and expresses 'an ethic of empowerment' [this is the anthropologist who has uncritically gone native?].

The moral community 'precedes the person' [so why don't we study moral communities? Assumes individuals just mirror community morals -- a kind of mechanical solidarity?] ] There are shared moral values [always — so this Christians person says, and they are always nice: neighbourliness, love, kindness]. This ethic 'embodies a sacred, existential epistemology that locates persons in a non-competitive, nonhierarchical relationship to the larger moral universe'. It says everyone deserves dignity 'and a sacred status in the world' stressing 'the value of human life, truth telling and nonviolence' [so Christians is not exactly an anthropologist then? Has he ever rad about warrior societies?]

As authentically adequate, it enables social criticism and engenders resistance, by helping people imagine how things could be different. New forms of transformation are enacted through dialogue. Non-violent forms of civil disobedience may be supported. By asking interpretive work to 'provide the foundations for social criticism, and social action this ethic represents a call to action'.

Moral criteria  are always fitted to contingencies and assessed in terms of local understandings, but only those that 'flow from feminist, communitarian understandings' [contradiction follows contradiction]. However we can't determine how this will actually work in specific situations. Generally though, researchers and subjects would become co-participants. This is rooted in liberation theology and neo-Marxist approaches found in Asia and elsewhere. The research project is owned jointly, and analysis is community-based, with a commitment to emancipation and transformation. The whole point is to release people from [all?] constraints [this time quoting Kemmis and Mactaggart --sounds like Struggling Man again].

The cultural critics and researchers themselves are 'anchored in a specific community of progressive moral discourse' (19). They take sides, they always work on the side of 'those who seek a genuine grassroots democracy'. It is an ethical matter that interpretive work should provide the foundation for social criticism and action [and two sentences are repeated here, page 19, in the first two paragraphs — 'As a cultural critic, the researcher speaks from an informed moral and ethical position' as is the bit about being anchored in a moral community and taking sides — we simply have propaganda repeated at us].

Taking sides is complex says Becker, but it involves making your own value positions clear including 'so-called facts and ideological assumptions'. Opposing values and claims to knowledge should be identified and analysed, and traced to 'a particular moral and historical standpoint' that has produced disempowerment for others. We must always 'appeal to a participatory, feminist, communitarian ethic… Care, love, beauty and empowerment'. This needs to be applied to concrete specifics in the interests of social betterment. For example all those in the Black Arts movement of the 1970s insisted that poems or other artworks could make more beautiful the life of a single black person [with what sort of evidence, I wonder. Did it matter if the majority found them crap? ]. There should be concrete steps to change situations. People may be taught to bring new value and meaning to identities or to cultural commodities especially if those are 'marginalised and stigmatised by the larger culture'. Misrepresentation and the reproduction of prejudice in other texts should be identified.

We should experiment with new representational forms especially performance. Richardson has always argued that the narrative genres in ethnography have now been enlarged to form creative analytic practice. They now include performance ethnography, short stories, fiction, personal essays, critical autobiography [and loads of others] [not maths though]. In each of these the writer is a performer, is self-consciously present, and self-aware. She can use own experiences to reflect higher self and self-other interactions. This is autoethnography which makes sense of the autobiographic past and recreates and rewrites it, in order to make it 'a part of the biographic present' (20). These are wonderful new writers who treat facts 'as social constructions… use the scenic method to show rather than tell, write about real people and created composite characters'[indistinguishably?]. They use multiple points of view, sometimes third person narration 'to establish authorial presence' and all sorts of other narrative strategies 'to build dramatic tension; and position themselves as moral witnesses to the radical changes going on in American society' [all of them really realist techniques?].

He has 'no desire to reproduce arguments that maintain some distinction between fictional and nonfictional', because all of them are 'socially and politically constructed categories' often used to police transgressive writing. 'There is only narrative', this is genre defined, but post-modernism intermingles these genres so that no one form is privileged over another [but first person testimony of oppression is privileged surely?].

We can connect Mills to Freire and then to contemporary critical pedagogy [Kincheloe]. Now there is performance in the autoethnographic turn, performance Autoethnography, and this completes Mills, by joining biography, history and social structure [Mills did performance? Denzin knows he wasn't exactly into communitarian ethics either ]. Performance 'as a way of knowing, a way of creating and fostering understanding' (21), grounded in the autoethnographic texts where writers become ethnographers of their own lives in a form of personal history or '"mystory"' [apparently invented by Ulmer].

These days stories 'bleed across national borders' as in work 'within a critical, post-9/11 spectacle pedagogy' showing how 'pedagogies of terror and fear' penetrate everyday life. Mills 'would agree'. 9/11 has been one of the most important events with consequences that affect everyone travelling to or leaving the USA. It is necessary to address the salient characteristics of any one epoch, said Mills [but who defines those?]. We must see how historical moments universalise themselves in the lives of individuals. Each individual is 'a universal singular or a single instance of the universal themes that structure the post-modern period' [what a weird argument — now there are universally shared cultural themes]. Each of us is touched by the mass media, by the economy, by families and technology, and the threat of nuclear war [some far more than others mate]

This is how we show how individual troubles become public issues, by uncovering [or making up?] 'the existentially problematic, often hidden, and private experiences that give meaning to everyday life' of this particular moment — 'to make the invisible more visible to others', a 'major goal of the interpreter' [Baradians would not be happy -- interpretation is the God's eye view again]. We need to capture everyday stories and make them available. We must chart the whole 'terrible and magnificent world of human experience in the second decade this new century. This is what this book is all about' (22). We are 'called [!] to change the world' in the direction of freedom and participatory democracy. We should define qualitative research by the work done to implement these assumptions.

Chapter 2

[Getting delightfully repetitive now with the same old arguments, which can be easily summarised]

There is now a 'thoroughgoing post-modern, poststructural, autoethnographic performance space' (23), and the best qualitative researchers are heading for it, while others are still resisting, including Hammersley. We must engage in dialogue with these people in a spirit of openness to expand any spaces of agreement, especially 'multiple versions of a social justice agenda' (24). We must be inclusive and find consensus on matters like [long list — science, representation, evidence, pluralism]. Hammersley's approach excludes some of the new arguments, turning on rejecting 'bricoleurs and poetics'(25), and he believes in value neutrality, evidence, truth, abstraction.

We need a broad-based framework to include everything [disability studies is finally added to the list]. This framework is activist and critical, and 'seeks a form of praxis that inspires and empowers oppressed people to act on their utopian [sic, not realistic]  impulses'. Social science these days is a matter of multiple discourses and it has taken many different turns, each of them unsettling positivism and post positivism. Researchers now have to develop expertise in a number of fields. Other sciences, however have offered a return to the old days of the real and the empirical. Who science is this? 'There are obvious tensions within this discourse and each version of science, in its own way, is legitimate' [and we can only criticise work from within its own paradigm, below)

[However some critics are not prepared to compromise] some see the post-modern turn as '"poisonous, cultist… Indulgent me-searches"' [Adler and Adler], or 'artsy crafty literary exercises… Mediocre theatre pieces' [Sanders]. [These are there to show what is beyond the pale?]

The crisis of representation has been identified by poststructuralists and others [including Habermas !]. Critics reject a move to 'art, literature, and performance' as a model for qualitative inquiry. They reject the argument that reality is socially constructed, meaning 'objective accounts about the world cannot be produced', but they think this means that no knowledge can be produced. Researchers still have responsibility to ensure that conclusions are sound, although Hammersley thinks there is too much speculative exaggeration.

Bricoleurs are tricksters and jacks of all trade [botchers might be another word] and they use what works [the bricoleur seems to be a popular term with other writers including Kincheloe]. Traditional researchers 'misread this metaphor' (26) and think that it leads to exaggeration and speculation, with no rigorous test [Hammersley again]. However, 'the bricoleur tests interpretations against the most severe criteria [sic] of all — does it work or not [for now?] —; that is, does it advance a social Justice initiative?' (26). The value of the metaphor is that we can use multiple interpretive methodologies, and none should be discarded if it helps illuminate the situation or issue. Bricoleurs have to be able to do multiple tasks, and they are 'obligated to be widely read across theoretical, methodological and ethical positions' [which leaves out most of them, and is quite a distance from being a trickster and Jack of all trades].

Ellis has listed some criticisms of 'poststructural inquirers' — their work is not realistic enough, or too realistic [yes --inconsistent and variable] , ignoring criticisms of what is real, or not aesthetic enough… 'Second rate writers and poets'. We can extend these criticisms to include matters such as they are opposed to testing interpretations: however, they have now agreed [really?] criteria on quality. However, 'critics appear to have not read our literature', especially the bits that say 'we have complex frameworks for judging the quality of our work' [I would have called them personal and opinionated, incoherent and paratactic, and fundamentally inoperable — see his Appendix 2]. It is just that they are now in a new paradigm [and should now be left alone] — 'pluralistic, performative, political'. Ellis also tries to argue that the amount of criticism of autoethnography only shows that it is now important enough, and that now they can learn from criticism.

Critics believe in an empirical world 'obdurate and talks back to investigators' [this is someone's quote I think] (27), that there is a real and science should return to it — 'Chicago School neopostpositivism' [wha]. But Morse among others has argued that evidence has to be produced and represented, and that this involves a politics and an ethics. Hence 'objective representation of reality is impossible' [although this does not mean we should only offer subjective ones — here and elsewhere, Denzin has not realised the basis of Hammersley's critique in Popper].

However 'surely a middle ground can be found'. We should return to the paradigm dialogues of the 1980s so that 'multiple representations of the situation should be encouraged, perhaps placed alongside one another'.[Paratactically I assume? Relativism again]

Interpretivists are not antiscience. They believe instead in 'multiple forms of science, soft, hard, strong, feminist, interpretive, critical, realist, post realist, post-humanist' (27). However [again] 'in a sense the traditional and post-modern projects are incommensurate', because the latter believe 'nothing is ever certain' and they 'want performance texts'. These will focus on epiphanies, on the intersections of biography history cultural politics, 'turning point moments'. The critics are correct to say that this is a political orientation 'that is radical, democratic, and interventionist. Many post positivists share these politics'.

Hammersley is mistaken in his analysis of recent history where neoliberal demands for relevance were dealt with by labelling the critics as out of touch, positivists or progressives. These critical responses did become part of the problem and are a threat to qualitative inquiry, but Hammersley is wrong to say that the ideas behind qualitative inquiry are mistaken, and suggest that anything goes. His proposals for a new set of rules, criteria and checklists, and a value neutral objective science ignores all the criticisms of positivism by the 'qualitative inquiry community' (28) [and Denzin cites his own work.] Further, these criticisms have meant that they no longer have to seriously engage with the work: misrepresentations are repeated and become 'common lore'. Richardson says this is 'stealing from post-modernism' [I got the impression it was something different that she meant — using post-modern arguments against the certainties that creep into qualitative inquiry.] This will inhibit growth, stifle new ideas, and discourage — or sharpen the challenge and raise the bar for those who 'want to keep the discipline alive'.

'We are [lots of things using lots of different lenses and coming in different forms]. [But] 'we are a global moral community complex network of committed interpretive scholars' [so there are no substantial difference between post-modernists, poststructural lists, phenomenologists, feminists, queers, indigenous people and so on? They are united by opposition to the common enemy represented by Hammersley?].

We can be guided by various themes and agendas, based on Guba. First an intellectual agenda [and he takes this so literally that for him it means all sorts of international regional and local events and conferences to raise various issues and problems like the implementation of social justice dialogue, controversy, empowerment and agreed criteria]. Secondly, an advocacy role connecting with political figures, showing the relevance of qualitative work, 'critiquing federally mandated ethical guidelines for human subject research' [demanding what — no politics?], And critiquing 'outdated positivist modes of science and research' in the name of social justice, of course. Thirdly, an operational agenda where 'qualitative researchers… Re-socialise themselves', (29) building relationships with various representatives of different professional associations [?]. Fourth the ethical agenda — 'an empowerment code of ethics that crosscut disciplines, honours indigenous voices, implements the values of love, care and compassion, community, spirituality, praxis, and social justice' (30).

We need to be more open to alternative paradigms and reflect on our own beliefs. Paradigms proliferation is common [because?] 'Theoretical paradigms are not commensurable'. Other things might be compatible e.g. qualitative and quantitative methods, or so many people in 'mixed, multiple and emergent methods group' believe. It may be 'inappropriate to challenge of paradigms, accept [sic] on grounds of internal consistency or conflict' [I don't think he believes this though, and is advocating a decline in conflict]. We should accept and celebrate proliferation and confluence.

Paradigms are beginning to intermingle in things like critical race theory and performance studies, and there is mutual influence from paradigms proponent's. 'This is good. Dominant paradigms should be subverted' [!], And we should be developing 'militant particularism, individual paradigms [sic] that embody and reframe inquiry' as a matter of healing and social justice. We need to rethink commensurability and incompatibility [although?] If you remove [underlying philosophical foundations] you lose the philosophical, reflexive cutting-edge that critical inquiry requires' [then] 'you can only critique the work from within its paradigm', so that performance criteria should not be applied to statistical analysis, and 'differences in interpretive criteria must be honoured' (31).

It's not easy to move from one paradigms to another — it involves politics emotions identities and reputations. We have to master new literature and dispense with old habits. This can be risky cannot be accomplished overnight — 'tome [sic] and effort will be required, at least as much as one might be willing to invest with the psychotherapist'. Students need to be taught the relevant languages and interpretive skills connected to these paradigms.

There are three 'main interpretive communities [not one global one then?] (Poststructural, mixed methods, science-based', and they should learn to cooperate. 'This is so because paradigms dominance involves control over faculty appointments and tenure' (31) [we get to it at last]. Fruitful dialogue is necessary for a democratic community in the Academy — 'strong academic departments encourage paradigm diversity'.

We can find a common ground because we all want social justice and lots of us want to influence social policy [including positivists it seems]. We should not be turning against each other criticising each other's style or language, debunking other paradigms. 'We are all bricoleurs' [speak for yourself mate]. If we start with [agreed] consequences and work back to goals and intentions, we should be okay, because 'the meaning of an interpretation lies in its ability to make life better for a person, or group of persons' [naive to say the least] . We can all live in a big tent if we are pragmatists as in James.

[This is a real mess. There is one global community but then there are three,or many more based on pluralism and paradigm proliferation. Everyone is accepted except Hammersley. Paradigms are important because they give a philosophical backing, but one consequences that they dominate academic appointments. It either is or is not possible to have dialogue between proponents of paradigms, but anyway we should not be nasty to each other. If we all accept that we are bricoleurs not specialists, and that we all want influence over policymakers, we can bury our differences and work alongside each other. It only makes sense in terms of university micropolitics really, where alliances are needed and students have to be attracted, political environments adjusted to, research programmes developed,particular issues addressed -- eg Hammersley's book -- particular allies {Richardson especially} supported].

Chapter 3

Guba wanted to end paradigm wars and opted for fruitful dialogue, but he was 'wrong' (33) because 'conflict, acrimony, and dissent has not disappeared from the contemporary methodological scene'. [Because its real dynamism comes from university micropolitics]. Guba is utopian and was advocating 'indigenous, relational, critical inquiry, the space of ethnodramas performance texts, and social justice initiatives… Ideal spaces, the sites of informed respectful dialogue' (33 –4).

We must end binaries like the one between quantitative and qualitative, or post positivist and poststructuralist, even 'value neutral versus politically engaged… Commensurate versus incommensurate paradigms, compatible versus incompatible methodologies' (34). Everything is tangled up and blurred. We also know that individual researchers constitute their own interpretive practices and worlds in a constant politics of representation. As a result, Hammersley is wrong to argue that we could examine just the phenomena themselves. We do need to develop proper ethical moral and political guidelines.

In more detail [yawn], genres have blurred after the literary turn and there are now multiple writing formats [Richardson] to challenge the conventional scientific format. Writing is no longer an innocent practice, there is no neutral medium of representation. 'There is no attempt to silence one writing form in favour of another' [except for Hammersley again presumably]. Interpretive frameworks and paradigms are also becoming blurred leading to new formations like 'feminist critical theory… Postcolonial queer theory' (35).

Researchers' agency is now fully admitted and put in the centre of critical inquiry — so 'the researcher is an advocate for change, an activist, a transformative actor, a passionate participant, an agent of self reflective action, a model of active engagement in the world' [is or should be?], never 'a disinterested observer'. We should focus on effects and consequences not causes.

Do we need criteria to help us judge quality and 'train new scholars to do quality work'? Pragmatists argue that roles are interpretive, moral and ethical practices, and that their meaning is always contextual, fluid and open-ended. Some criteria refer to epistemic, or epistemological criteria, 'validity or quality of evidence or reliability', but some are aesthetic, resembling those involved in 'good art or good poetry' [so spell those out a bit then — and apply them to your own stuff?]. Some criteria are ethical and political as in the 'feminist communitarian ethical framework' allegedly discussed in chapter 1. 'These three categories don't always work together; in fact they seldom do' [so what the fuck is the point of them?] [so what should we do, which ones should we favour? Leave them vague and contradictory so they can be used to justify any judgments? This keeps Edbiz alive]

For interpretivists, 'all criteria are moral and ethical', but traditionalists want to focus on the epistemological, and keep out political considerations — Hammersley again. Science does not look at political or aesthetic criteria. They belong to advocacy. Admitting the other criteria might weaken the traditional ones. Some critics have focused particularly on identity politics as unhelpful, and how they define personal commitments [Atkinson Coffey and Delamont]: they should be bracketed. But this 'presumes that a neutral interpretive space can be found. This is classic C Wright Mills, and I disagree' (36). [I think what he means he is going to rely on C Wright Mills to deny value neutrality?]. For traditionalists identity politics are naive and involve a naive belief that social sciences can provide solutions to what some people see as intractable problems [Hammersley again]. If the point is to provide reliable knowledge leading to improvements, this is easy to ridicule as 'polite' [I think this is what he means by quoting Oakley on page 36. He might be saying that positivism just has not led to the reduction of social problems]. Epistemic rules are always ethical and political anyway, as we can see in the research guidelines used by review boards — a US version actually specifies ethical principles about respect for persons, beneficience and justice, as smuggled in politics [which seems to be a criticism?].

Traditionalists want to distinguish the quality of the research and the standards of the research report. This tries to hide the issues under criteria such as 'adequacy, expertise, and significance', or Hammersley's criteria for a research report which involve clear writing, adequate evidence and so on, the traditional topics — 'validity, credibility of evidence, empirical generalisations, causality, theory, relevance of the topic' . Research might not tell us anything new even though the topic is important — 'but what is new and what is important?'. Of course the opposites are also implied and these are clearly 'value laden… Not politically neutral'. [quite right I think -- but needs Bourdieu on the close connection between 'academic standards' and the high aesthetic]  The application of terms is less than clear, so invoking quality or evidence can become 'a proxy for orthodoxy or a tool for discounting critical interpretive work' [micropolitics here -- but only traditionalists are engaged in it] . Judgements of poor quality are only 'the case from the standpoint of the critic' anyway [so is it important or not to get agreed standards? Is there any way critics might agree, or is it so irreducibly subjective that we might as well just get on with it and favour people we like? The whole argument is tactical -- irreducible subjectivity dismisses Hammersley, but criteria rescue qualitative inquiry from it]

No criteria can replace experience and judgement. We can try to write more clearly and do a better job, better communicate the criteria, engender trust by writing openly and accessibly, and openly advocate social justice. This might be a performance [!], creating trust, something that will 'produce effects that move people to action' [including giving us a job] we have to embrace plurality and honour differences between perspectives, tell your audience that 'there is always more than one way to represent what we are writing about'. [but yours is best -- as in prime knowledge or academic realism]

There is a middle ground between fully explicit criteria and none — we should assess work 'with a set of agreed-upon pragmatic standards' [citing Hammersley again]. We should accept 'deep-seated, non-spurious incompatibilities between frameworks and paradigms' and 'agree to disagree, while agreeing to make public the criteria we do use'. Luckily there are many ways 'to produce a convincing text that advances social justice inquiry', but we should not apply criteria from one framework to another. There will always be pluralism and some positions will always be 'at loggerheads',  each approach will have 'its own unique set of interpretive criteria' (38) but we must all [all those of us in threatened university departments] agree on dialogue and consensus, agree to talk to each other.

Social justice is the key, although there are different ways to be political — some based on critical theory like Marxism or feminism, some based on participatory action theory ['from activist theatre and performance theory'.]. All of them 'combine epistemology, politics, activism and aesthetics'. [so it doesn't matter what they aim at?]

Qualitative research should be used to bring about healing and reconciliation, according to Stanfield, and this will confirm social injustice or maltreatment and is also a practical methodology to transform intergroup conflict into '"a peace building experience"' [he seems to have in mind conflict between researcher and researched in particular]. Social justice inquiry can help people make sense of their new voices. It can make researchers aware that they also need healing and humanity. Charmaz develops this into four criteria — 'credibility, originality, resonance, and usefulness' (39), each with several dimensions. For example credibility means a familiarity with the setting of observations, systematic comparison, 'well developed categories, evidence sufficient to allow the reader to agree or not agree with researcher claims' [definite clash with activism I would have thought]. Resonance involves connecting [vague]  to the worlds of lived experience, and useful work helps people change their every day worlds by illuminating social justice processes. This is evocative writing involving the reader. This is just like Richardson's criteria. After all, 'we will [all] have stories to tell and theories to proclaim'. [and they must all be equally worthwhile?]

So we advance human rights by 'telling the truth about what particular people do in their everyday lives and about what their actions mean to them' [so there is a notion of truth, and we do need to explain to people what their actions mean?]. We have to affirm human dignity in our research and keep the researched 'genuinely informed… able to participate'. We cannot be complacent. We have our own flaws 'and academics are especially tempted by the sins of envy and pride'. [And he has finally discovered a slight problem…] 'Post-modernist critiques of Enlightenment hubris have questioned the very possibility of "truth"' [but we only direct this against our opponents]

'We must not forget the performative turn' '[he nearly did?]. We can portray social life symbolically and 'aesthetically for spectator engagement, reflection, raising critical consciousness, and for purposes of social action' (40) [the old delusions about radical theatre — and the old arrogance]. All this is important to remind us that we are always moral and always accountable, wanting to do work that matters, beyond what is merely valid or what conforms to lists of qualities.

[So is he into quality criteria or not? Which of the several lists on offer does he prefer? The argument is paratactic and tactical again. Does it matter if people do not always agree with them — there is this higher purpose of social justice and making people's lives better. This seems to be a bit of a contradiction between wanting to tell the truth or be authentic and post-modern commitments to relativism. People like Hammersley can be challenged by asking whose criteria these are — but so can he -- he makes his selfless and  noble, of course]

Chapter 4 Pedagogical Practices

Bell hooks has blended anticolonial critical of feminist themes into her pedagogy and she agrees that teaching is a performative act, and that it can change people — it just is '"the practice of freedom"' [no nasty reproduction of social hierarchy for her!]

Denzin has a lot of experience and wants to focus on mystory and ethnodrama. He also likes collaborative and community projects especially if they are indigenous even though these may not be performative [he has found indigenous persons are not that keen on personal ethnodramas?] . In 1966  there was a great gap in the market for methodology textbooks leading to his first publication The Research Act. Field projects and observations were becoming popular and he initially graded students work 'in terms of completeness and attention to detail' (42). He saw this is carrying on the Chicago school tradition. Eventually he came to see that he was 'teaching students methods for representing social action and making the world visible', but he also supplied tricks of the trade.

It is all different today, and now there is a new interest in teaching QR with the same absence of materials, hence the book by R Hurworth (2008) Teaching Qualitative Research: Cases and Issues. Rotterdam: Sense publishers. [The book is then summarised — apparently bits include using computer software for analysis and lots of practical constraints, sometimes in some detail, for example 'courses should be two semesters' (43). There is no standard procedure, there is a difficult relationship with theory, writing is a topic on its own, 'practice should be incorporated into assessment; student projects should show how theory can be applied to practice' [even though the 'theory – practice balance is precarious' — they solve what we can't]. These are 'invaluable guidelines'.

He likes especially the history of qualitative research and how complex it is. The absence of instruction manuals is to be expected. Initially, quantitative inquiry dominated with no room for qualitative. The paradigms wars challenged this but there were still no agreed texts. There are still few generalist textbooks. We need to focus on teaching rather than learning methodological technique, but must see this as 'a moral discourse, linking biography to personal troubles, and personal troubles to social issues, and social action' (44).

There are still paradigm disputes about teaching, perhaps two poles on a continuum, with the traditionalist on the right focusing on objective tools, design technique and analysis, and experimentalists on the left, more avant-garde activist, open to 'subjective interpretive approach to inquiry… Method as praxis… As a tool for social action'. This good left pole includes 'performance ethnographers, action researchers and community organisers'. They are doing QI whereas the traditionalist are only doing qi.

Social justice is a third pole which can unite the other two. Even traditional methodologies can show students how to do 'ground-level social justice inquiry — 'inquiry that is indigenous, collaborative, and community-based' (45). Pedagogy and methodology are combined, and they [another tedious list] clarify definitions, collect and use narratives and statistics, try to identify points of intervention, suggest alternative morals, tried to see other problem was created, 'connect personal troubles with public issues', focus on 'multiple instances of injustice', collaborate with community members to produce ethnodramas and then 'interpret and publicise audience feedback'. This will yield projects 'committed to advancing social justice agendas'.

Good left pole teaching also 'centres on post-modern epistemological, philosophical principles, including the politics of knowing, as well as issues surrounding objectivity, performance, reflexivity, writing, and the first person voice, complicity with the other ethics, values, and truth' [usual problems then about rank ordering these, glossing over any contradictions, and seemingly forgetting all about action and ethnodramas, except in the assertion at the end of this section — I suspect that these issues are designed to establish academic credibility with other academics]. Students require 'instruction in a large [non-traditional] literature' to realise that qualitative research is messy poetic political and so and 'autoethnographic, inquiry shaped by the call to social action, by a commitment to undo pedagogies of oppression' [with a reference to Freire and his American colleagues] [note that the problem with instruction also arises with Freire, and how much he wants to steer the interpretation of symbols lessons — a fan of Rancière is pointed these out].

So we have to 'make the political and ideological visible [only?] Through performance'[shades of the old argument that the plebs can't read so they need lots of visuals and plays]. We invite students use their own experiences to push back against oppressive structures and therefore become agents. And students have to become Autoethnographers: happily, those informed by Boal and Freire are already potentially playwrights. The best way to do fieldwork will view human action as a drama to produce 'emancipatory theatre, critical performance ethnography for the oppressed' [old radical theatre stuff much abused by Rancière].

Students on the left pole should also be taught about right pole methodologies via the classics, [presumably not performatively?] so they know how to do conventional interviews, participant observation, and right grounded theory. They can then be bricoleurs. Even traditional qualitative research 'can be used as a tool to leverage social change' assuming an appropriate critical format.

If new forms of text are created then new voices are heard and they will advocate change and resistance, making research connected to political action [all very shouldy and musty — we must weed out right-wing students first?].

Let's focus on the mystory. It makes the world visible to implement social justice, foregrounds personal narratives and performance-based texts, 'grounded in epiphanic, racialised personal experience' (47) [so it is a special technique for black people?]. Writing groups leave class discussions, 'the classroom becomes a sacred space, a sanctuary where students take risks'. They can then perform and present at the next ICQ I conference.

The goal is to create a community in the classroom. Students may be asked to share food, and sign up for classes and groups outside the class to help them produce personal performance narratives grounded in Epiphany [for the second time within about 11 lines]. Seminars are divided into performance groups with 4 to 6 members in each. They leave the room, meet as a group, and return with individual and group narratives to be performed. These are to be 'grounded in a racialised experience connected to international airport travel'. At the end they will have told each other personal stories about race identity and travel. They then rework this story as a basis for the final performance, meeting weekly and preparing performances based on extracurricular readings and films. He makes clear that 'this class may not be for everyone', and that a racialised experience is not compulsory.

These are mystories as in Ulmer. It's a personal mythology and the public story, and a 'performance that critiques'. It is ethnodrama, participatory theatre, a bit like Brecht. 'The emphasis is on performance and improvisation, not the reading of a text'. It can be a montage of other media music poetry and images and can be 'grafted into discourses from popular culture' [hey kids, let's turn that into a rap]. 'The audience coperforms the text' [and is that assessed as well?]. It should start with a moment that has left an emotional mark. It has to be written in the first person voice. It 'ideally creates a dialogical text that critiques structures of oppression, while imagining utopian ideals' (48) [sounds farking stressful to me].

The wall between performance and audience disappears, the script just easily 'puts into words the world of experience, actions'. The characters are caught up in dramatic conflict which leads to 'some degree of resolution', but simplistic characterisations are avoided. Readers can read different parts. 'Every performance event is different' [how do we grade them? As long as a story with political consequences that shows how the world can be changed is developed.

This is not easy involves hard work ['interpretive work' here]. Personal and biographical realities have to be edited and reinterpreted in the interests of drama, remembered, written in different layers. Lots of dramatic decisions have to be made including deciding which words to put in the mouths of which characters. 'The focus is always on showing not telling. Minimal interpretation is favoured. Less is more' [so his own threadbare efforts are actually deliberate minimalism?]. Ulmer himself refers to using the story's punctum [Rancière is problems with that as well].

There is to be plots 'with overall dramatic structure' including things like acts and seems. There may be a chronological timeline or and episodes. There is a first person narrator usually the protagonist, but they can be competing voices. 'Characters are real and imagined persons' (49) and may include the researcher or not. There may be a series of monologues or a one-person performance. The monologue [always] reveals the inner thoughts of the person, but dialogue is an exchange of thoughts which can advance action. There can be collaboration or improvisation. Spoken parts can be assigned to speakers 'randomly'.

Costumes and props can be minimal or as ornate as you wish. Actors can play several parts, and do not always have to line up with their own gender and race. Stage directions can be suggested 'such as the use of "white face"' and so on [his own bloody awful play about Hammersley] there can be layered text, montages, multiple voices.

They are emotional productions aimed deeper understanding, better 'then is achievable through conventional forms of qualitative data analysis… [Creating]… A sense of verisimilitude and a critical consciousness'. There is often a departure from naturalism or narrative realism, and empirical materials can be rearranged for dramatic effect. Strindberg [somehow supports this model] by saying that his characters are agglomerations of real and fictional persons and so on. We are 'using our ethnographic imaginations' (50) and 'any resemblance to actual events, locales or persons, living or dead, is at least partially coincidental' [sounds like a legal disclaimer]. When they are well crafted these performances 'have the power to move us to terror and pity… Joy and deeper self understanding' [and what if they are not well crafted, like his?]

A narrative framework is imposed often moving through 'the four stage dramatic cycle… Breach, crisis, redress, reintegration' [classic realist stuff]. Works of popular culture 'are always already ideological and utopian' and this can display both conflict and 'offer kernels of utopian hope'. However they can also show how problems 'can be satisfactorily addressed by the existing social order… Hence the audience is lulled into believing that the problems of the social have in fact been successfully resolved'. The mystory is in 'similar ideological space' but can function as critique, and presumes that the social order needs to change [and when you have done one you have done your bit].

Doing stuff like this alters the pedagogical terrain, so that teaching method or technique 'recede into the background' [quite — despite the benefits of learning the classics earlier]. We might need to learn new languages such as the language of the theatre — Mamet thinks that we are bound to each other and divided 'through race, class, desire and gender, by geography, politics, age, culture and religion: abortion, racial mascots, gun control, gay rights, health care, immigration… Wars on terrorism''s these will not go away '"until fatigue, remorse, and finally forgivenness bring resolution"' [he is going to bore us to death]. So 'we seek dramas of forgiveness' [that fit with the demand for social justice?]

As exemplars, here are some of his own mystory excerpts from Searching for Yellowstone. Some of painful family members about his father being conservative, and dying leaving only a few miserable relics. It's written in broken prose as poetry. He relates his parents divorce, his father becoming an alcoholic, the dreadful McCarthy hearings on the telly, another drivel that he watched the time, how we took his grandmother to the nursing home while Ike was broadcasting. Other memories and reminiscences include how his dad installed a bar. How the John Birch Society was gaining strength, how Bob Dylan wrote a song about it, how his father went off with another woman, how his own father's story 'segues' into a criticism of his parents' version of the American dream. [I could tell it might be moving, but I felt like a grief tourist, and I'm not at all sure that this is a terribly useful explanation of McCarthyism].

Then an excerpt from Doherty about growing up queer in America [written in standard prose, but divided into acts and scenes] — he was a Boy Scout then became confused about sexuality, was hazed by some of his colleagues and that alarmed him and he resisted so he had to leave the Boy Scouts. Altogether it is about 'fear and loathing in white heterosexual America, circa 1960'. (57)

So we have to teach to transgress in safe spaces where students can 'perform painful personal experiences'. They may not have read much about the theatre but they can 'understand the power of drama to transform personal problems into public discourse'. They teach one another, they push against oppressive boundaries in order to get freedom, love, empowerment. They are free to explore painful experiences and move forward [so it's a kind of drama therapy really]. We should see this however As 'the use of performance as a method of investigation' , as doing ethnography, making visible oppressive structures, documenting oppression and understanding its meanings, and 'enacting a politics of possibility' [which was apparent in neither of these excerpts]. This pedagogy is 'located in a moral community' apparently, 'right and left poll methodology tests come together on the terrain of social justice'. This is collaborative, seminar room is sacred, but 'the fear of criticism and misunderstanding is always present. When this occurs we seek pedagogy is of forgiveness'

[The whole thing is ripe for Rancière critique. It actually looks quite totalitarian and intolerant with kind of forced public disclosures. He admits at one level that students will need to be taught traditional methods, and knows that 'this could involve several semesters of study' (44), but of course there will not be time if and everything is to be the quick two semester session on radical theatre. Is he at all worried about the employability of his graduates? I would not be at all surprised if the students did not respond by simply playing along]. [Appendix 1 has some details of his teaching schemes. I especially like the 250 word assignment]

Chapter 5 Ethics

There is a new social ethics of resistance, not looking for neutral principles but getting a complex view of moral judgements '"as integrating various perspectives", and seeking transformation and empowerment. Some people think the conventional ethics has been emptied of meaning anyway. Some of his mates like Soyini Maddison agree that there should be an ethics of equity. The Belmont Report [discussed earlier] still contains ethical principles. Professional associations are much more aware of the need for codes of ethics.

Any code of ethics for 'the global community' will necessarily be extensive. (59) Apparently it is 'shaped by the needs of the ICQI', and this is suggested to be a general model. It will be informed by human rights and social justice, be interdisciplinary, transnational, compatible with specific disciplinary codes [actually, 'exist alongside' them]. It will be based on a research contract it would be relational, focus on care and consent agreements rather than consent forms.

[Guess what, there is another list of purposes page 59, all entirely predictable, stressing social justice dignity, having to separate out from review boards. Delightfully circular some of it e.g. the purpose of .6 is 'to provide ethical standards to which the general public and public officials can hold qualitative standards accountable', later rendered as .8 'articulate standards that qualitative scholars can use in defence of their work'. So much for care for others! Definite tactical tone here? This will 'implement the primary mission of the global qualitative inquiry community' (60), although there is no guarantee of ethical behaviour.

[Then we get on to the real micropolitical issues on the agenda]. The current ethical apparatuses are flawed and subject to controversy and struggle. Institutional Review Boards (IRB) in particular have been accused of mission creep, narrow applications, narrow views of research, a simple view of informed consent, anonymity preventing openness, and severely eroding indigenous knowledge and communities.

There is no particular stress on human rights and social justice. The whole thing has been informed by value-free notions of research and utilitarian justice. There is no participation. It is about protecting institutions. It is procedural — 'ethics in a cul-de-sac' (61).

We should all take on the role of ethics officers in their own institutions, like he has [and he tells his story 61 — it looks like he complained and so he was asked to do the job. He was able to build on a set of exemptions already applied to oral history projects. He can now respond to people who have been rejected by conventional review boards. It's easier if they are not being federally funded.

Other scholarly and professional societies have also challenged the standard model, arguing for exemption if research is not federally funded, or if there is a particular methodology 'research on autonomous adults'.

The story of oral history and its clashes with institutional ethics ensues 63f. Official policies were not being followed and there is still conflicting policy statements [lots of details about exemption clauses]. QI might follow this example.

Then a nice play about ethical practices — 64F. Campaigners discuss how to get better exemptions and to reform existing ethical regulations. They remind themselves that they must be critical and self reflective en route. One of them suspects that 'researchers with little integrity can always find some ethical principle to justify the violation of some other ethical principle (Stake and Rivzi, 2009, page 531)' [because although this is a drama, we still have to get our references right]. Another speaker equates ethics with the generation of social criticism leading to resistance and empowerment. They admit they should do no harm but say this is complicated. Eventually, one of the speakers turns out to be making the case for indigenous peoples being victims of conventional research, incorporating 'the exotic other, the Nobel [sic] Savage' (66) there is a need to honour essential human freedoms which include 'worship' and various rights — to housing health, indigenous people, the rights of prisoners'. The speaker goes on to confess she is an autoethnographer and discusses an ethics of relationality — 'how do I tell the truth, do no harm, and honour and respect our relationship at the same time?' The other speakers says that these just aren't covered in standard review boards, so they attempt a list of responses of their own (67) which includes publishing without approval, under a pseudonym, using multiple voices and needing to 'follow a socially contingent ethic' [eg when interviewing fundamentalist Muslims do not ask the women?]  In answer to a question about which one should be prioritised, the answer is '[follow] your conscience'. There is a lot of focus on process content, going on at each stage. Apparently 'a socially contingent ethic… Works outward from shared personal experience… Is based on care, respect, love… Respects rights and needs and intimacies specific to a relational context'.

There can be problems if you have to report back to participants, especially if they are intimates — 'it can destroy a relationship. It can place the writer in harm's way' (67). There might be a clash between the rights of writers and those of other people. And questions arise such as 'what is the exact truth of the story, what is its emotional truth? Should I tell the truth if it hurts someone else' the answer is that we can only write about ourselves and this is a right, but writers need to keep honest. Then there are some banal ethical principles such as honouring the dignity of the person enacting empowerment, and implementing social justice. The US Oral History Association guidelines get closest.

In the final scene, oral historians describe their struggles. Apparently, 'we never randomly select interviewees. That would be unimaginable' (68). They do not grant anonymity because 'anonymous sources lack credibility', but the interviewee has the copyright and that can only be transferred 'via a legal release form'. Apart from that they just have to guard against exploitation and 'take care not to reinforce thoughtless stereotypes'. This is admirable, dialogical.

Overall, IRBs should not constrain critical inquiry or ethical conduct. 'Our commitment to professional integrity requires awareness of one's own biases and a readiness to follow a story… We are committed to telling the truth, even when it may harm people' [sounds based on pretty traditional ideas about interpretation and professional responsibilities --trust the researcher stuff]. The speakers are delighted to have ended with 'a set of methodological guidelines' — the dignity of the person rather than 'an informed consent document', doing no harm even though there are painful topics, avoiding deception because 'it is assumed that telling the truth about the past is of great benefit to society' and 'interviewees are selected because of the value of the stories they have to tell' [and then we are referred to his own ludicrous Appendix 2]

Chapter 6 Publishing

There are struggles played out on the pages of journals, says Mitch Allen, one of his advisers. He wants to create a space for the new experimental works, the new interpretive formats, CAP [set up special conferences and journals. Then there is the usual token discussion with critics and eventually a play.

A South African fan explains that they won't get funded unless they publish in accredited journals, with a standard Journal Impact Factor (JIF) score. A New Zealand correspondent reports pushback against experimental texts. Denzin realises that there implications for money, grants, tenure. 'We cannot overcome the mainstream resistances to critical qualitative inquiry' (73) so they have to build a different house or actually many different ones with each new centre having its own quality criteria.

The new work is difficult and requires particular skill to experiment with new forms. This may require training in creative writing or participation in writing groups. Most editors aren't capable to review this sort of writing and there seem to be no criteria. In fact there will be [Balkanized] criteria. At the same time, not all genres are appropriate, depending on the research question and the audience — so that a fictionalised short story might not be suitable 'in a presentation to policymakers or grant officers' (74) and  if the traditional format is better, we should use it.

'A somewhat ambiguous set of criteria should operate' followed by yet another list based on Richardson Ellis and others — scientific criteria, poetic criteria, artistic criteria. The latter include 'understanding of craft, social justice, moral truth, emotional verisimilitude, sublime [sic], empathy. Denzin wants the last one extended. He quotes TS Eliot no less , from 1920, on how there might be 'objective correlates for the emotions the writer is attempting to invoke' [I bet we never hear of them again]. Then there is Emily Dickinson who says if work makes her body cold '"I know it is poetry"' [bring Emily Dickinson in when writing proposals and stick a thermometer in her].

Editors also need a new framework [leading to more criteria such as being 'well crafted, engaging… Capable of being respected by critics of literature as well as by social scientists'. Apparently Rorty argues for more compassionate texts 'that encourage us to feel the sufferings of others. Thus will ethnography shade into performance, and the relation between fact and fiction be disturbed. 'The basic unit is the scene, the situation, not the fact' (75) although 'stories and poems are written in facts, not about facts'. They moved from personal epiphanies to a critique of social structures, not just a retelling of experience but a creation of experience to evoke emotional responses 'thereby producing verisimilitude and a shared experience'.

The usual criticisms are reviewed, like the absence of a public method, charges of narcissism, difficult validity issues, 'the absence of guidelines for doing nuts and bolts research, and for turning "data" into poetry or narrative' [taken up below with a hilarious counter — just suggest it is wrong to do this]. Good texts make readers work, they are 'messy… Local… Historically contingent… Risky. There is still need to invent a suitably 'reflexive form of social science that turns ethnography and experimental literary texts back onto one another' (76). We need not be experimental for its own sake because 'the goal is to change the world'.

Some editors have apparently resisted and have banned poetry or free verse [in Qualitative Health Care]. They are particularly worried about transforming data into verse, or single case narratives. There is a list of their objections, which range from difficulties of formatting quotations to 'narrative inquiry is not scientific inquiry'. They seem to be advocating the old pattern of data being transformed by concepts hypotheses and analysis. They actually do not accept manuscripts that are poetry any more, pleading the constraints of space and time, but also because they don't see original transcripts — 'hence they cannot trust the findings'. Authors typically offer no guidelines. Literary representation is not always helpful for health research.

We must learn lessons and make a more effective case, clarify our goals. We need to reassert that 'all scientific writing is storytelling' [this is Richardson's mistake, which completely sidelines the role of mathematical models, encouraged by simplifications] experimental writing is humanist and interpretive and should not be asked to respond to scientific criteria. It is near to experience grounded in the concrete — 'performing writing' (78) rather than second-order. QHR 's is not the only one, and Richardson or Ellis suggest three layers — lived experience and its meanings, transcriptions of interviews, 'turned into poetry or narrative', while others just go ahead with narrative assuming it 'constitutes lived experience itself'.

The two communities should communicate with each other. Some experimental work is directly relevant to health. Poor old experimentalists are really trying to create spaces for people who have been the objects of reports, and this is 'an empowerment ethics of healthcare and narrative truth'. Their work should not be 'shut out because of methodological misunderstandings'.

As a wonderful example, Richardson's poem about Louisa May shows how it can work. She created it from a transcript of an interview, and then used only her words and syntax in a subsequent [free verse, naff] poem. The idea was to 'go beyond positivist commitments to tell an objective story', and use poetical devices 'like repetition, pauses, metre, rhymes, addiction, tone' [none of those are particularly detectable in this extract unless the repetition of the word 'shapes' count as rhyme; the broken sentences don't seem to have any particular rhythm]. The interview was transcribed into prose text and then shaped 'into a poem/transcript' after wrestling with post-modern issues. She kept the pauses, line breaks and spaces between lines. Apparently it can be performed which opens up 'multiple open-end readings, in the ways that straight sociological prose does not permit' (79). It is 'reflexive and alive… Never transparent' Richardson had to do lots of work to move from one step to another. The goal was political to change the way we think about people, make the world visible 'in ways ordinary social science writing does not allow… The poet is accessible, visible and present in the text, in ways that traditional writing forms discourage'

Then a list of different forms of CAP, usually single terms arranged across the page according to different spaces, followed by a list of single terms: one line after single word points reads 'painful to [new line] read'.

Then, oh good, a one scene play as an experimental text, set, as usual in a seminar room University of Illinois. Two speakers discuss the difficulties of experimental writing being accepted by their department or by journal editors, not having enough citation scores, and how this led to one colleague not getting tenure. They criticise the often used 'Thomson Reuters Journal Citation Reports' (81) and notes that experimental work often gets excluded which terrifies people and ruins careers. It is the Academy to blame, 'misuse', drawing conclusions based on abstract scores which should be used really to evaluate journals not scholars. Speaker two says: 'yeah, lotta help that is today'. Seaker one repeats his case that evaluators are not doing their job because schools cannot determine quality which really should involve 'substantive contribution to a field, aesthetic merits, reflexivity and voice, and emotional impact on the reader (see Richardson and St Pierre 2005, page 964)' (82). Speaker one, now fully converted, argues that tenure committees and journal editors should only consider scores in proper context, that multidisciplinary journals 'must develop and be held to their own standards' that JIF should not be used to assess individual scholars but only journals. Speaker two agrees and says they need their own 'social justice impact criteria… That turn on moral terms… Celebrate resistance, experimentation, conflicts, empowerment, sound partisan work, knowledge – based radical critiques of social institutions… Promoting human dignity, human rights and just societies'. Speaker one ends the play by asking us to consider the victims who wrote such texts but did not get published.

It is not just a vagrant few who are challenging the tradition. The tradition is forever changed, but gradually, and 'innovative writing forms seem to be everywhere present', but the traditional social science order is recuperative and can marginalise the new. 'There is more at issue than different ways of writing', because the whole practices of the discipline are under criticism.

The new writing often will 'presume a universal ethnographic subject, the other who is not the ethnographer' [not very universal then — Balkanised almost to the point of racism] (83). It follows that there can be no objective accounts. Objective accounts just omit 'the presence of a real subject in the world'. Phenomena were transformed 'into texts about society', and these texts lent a presence to these phenomena. Real live people appeared only in the form of excerpts, casual observations or 'ideal types"'[Still do in even in autoethnography, of course] . The traditionalists rejects new criteria of evaluation because they perceive a threat to the traditional social sciences. They argue that the crisis in social science means the new writers should be silenced.

Writers and editors should work together to allow the new writing a place. Writers should produce better work by for example creating writing groups working with literary co-authors, sharing their criteria. Editors need to attend these workshops, above all, 'they need to add poets and fiction writers to the editorial boards and reviewer lists', being willing to take a chance, creating a new space for the experimental work.

But we still need to find 'our own mainstream, our own blue-ribbon journals, our own prestigious book series, our own interpretive criteria, our own international congresses, our networks, our mentors, and our own departments' (84) [which presumably will not compromise or offer a space for traditional methods].

Chapter 7 social justice

The epigraphs talk about ending discrimination and poverty. Critical qualitative research has a particularly important role in the present which cries out for 'emancipatory visions transformative inquiries, moral authority' (85. This will require 'an expansive politics of critical inquiry… Broad enough to include work with mining populations in West Virginia, earthquake victims in Haiti and school-aged children on American Indian reservations' [that is entirely abstract, actually dealing with almost no detail?]

The paradigms is 'firmly rooted in the human rights agenda', inequality should be addressed by listening to the least advantaged groups. And qualitative research can be of assistance especially if it is made accessible 'for public education, social policy-making, and community transformation'.

As usual, there are 'myriad ways of doing social justice work'. [It is all one big struggle, ranging from] 'social workers handling individual clients compassionately… Qualitative researchers engaging their students in public interest visions of society; indigenous scholars being trained to work in their own nations'.

There are multiple disciplines and professions in the 'social justice community', so let's hear it for the ICQI as part of the global social justice movement, founded to show the promise of qualitative inquiry. Now we have over 40 nations represented. The themes of the Congress embrace activism [mostly by pushing qualitative inquiry, I suspect, llike Wyatt's Edinburgh Conference did]. A critique of inequality and discrimination unites all critical qualitative inquiry scholars and they want to help people transcend and overcome the despair they suffer. They do not want to just interpret the world but to change it.

Luckily, this makes qualitative research relevant and ethically responsible activism, this research 'makes a difference in the lives of socially oppressed persons' [examples would be good — the ghost of Paulo Freiri haunts this I suspect] in the second ICQ I conference, for example, they explored institutional review boards, the overreliance of audit culture, and ways of decolonising traditional methodologies. This opened a space for dialogue and a response to criticisms of qualitative inquiry, because they now have an ethically responsible agenda which [guess what, another list page 87] — 'places the voices of the oppressed centre of inquiry… Reveals sites for change in activism… Uses inquiry in activism to help people… Affect social policy by getting critiques heard and acted on… Changes the inquirers life, thereby serving as a model of change for others'] [So definitely tactical here then]

Then — good — a short one act play about justice, pushing back against discourses that would marginalise it. It imagines a space that celebrates utopian commitments and unfolds in five scenes [one of indeed involves 'the many ghosts of Paulo Freiri'. It focuses mostly on indigenous issues, but the intention is to be broad enough to include all the others

[The usual staging notes about the seminar class at the University of Illinois] [some of the speakers appear to be students]. If we don't get proactive scholarship will be imposed on us and it will not focus on the social Justice initiative… Our work fosters social justice… Not everyone wants to do performances though… All scholars can come together in a shared commitment… Organisations like the ICQI seem ever more necessary in training adequate researchers and networking… We need common ground between theoretical positions… We believe our work should be directed to bringing about social change… 'I became a qualitative social scientist so I could make the world a better place to live in'… This means 'we can build a firm firewall protecting us from those who are saying we are being too political and not scientific enough' [deffo tactical again].

Scene 2 has the ghosts of PF and his hopes and dreams. He taught us that social justice work takes many different forms [actually some of them quite didactic] and it is 'all tangled up in theory, in decolonising performances, in indigenous pedagogies and methodologies, resistance narratives'… 'Everything is always, already performative' PF's critical pedagogy addresses violence, confirms experiences, but 'what does it mean to embrace indigenous pedagogies and methodologies, indigenous poetics? (90 [The answer is 'we use our bodies and our identities, colonised experiences to theorise these poetic pedagogies and methodologies, like Gloria Anzaldua, we invent our own roots.… Centre on power ethics and social justice and rethink terms like social justice… Develop proactive understandings that increase self-determination and autonomy for indigenous people 'individuals should be free to determine their own goals and make sense of their world in terms of culturally meaningful terms'. This is not separatism but an invitation to dialogue.… 'It might involve collaborative storytelling, the co-construction of counter narratives, and the creation of classrooms as discursive, sacred spaces where indigenous values are experienced' [by eating each other's soul food as we shall see — classic good old saris and samosas]… Students will be self determining in their own education… Sometimes we might use social justice theatre as in 'Boal's Theatre of the Oppressed', or perform ethnodramas.

We should also involve democracy, and indigenous models 'involve inclusion and the free and full participation of all members of the society and civic discourse' (91), but original American democracy denied citizenship rights to Native Americans, African Americans, and women.… Native Americans should retain full sovereignty and develop 'their indigenous models of democracy'. Collaboration between oppressor and oppressed is never straightforward, however — even 'the hyphen that connects Maori and non-– Maori defines a colonial relationship' and 'the hyphen can never be erased'. However we can develop a set of ethical principles to guide social justice inquiry including 'respect, care, equity, empathy, a commitment to fairness and a commitment to honouring indigenous culture and its histories'… We can learn from difference — 'the other is fundamentally unknowable, visible only in their cultural performances'. 'Indigenous people must have control over their own knowledge' (92) protected from colonial dominated research. Research then would become a transformative practice 'a form of social justice theatre'. This will require a huge struggle

Scene 4: we can include a notion of justice as healing to break out of conventional legal cages and embedding justice 'within a moral community', avoiding legal positivism which oppresses indigenous persons. We want to go back to indigenous ways of healing 'not scapegoating and punishing offenders', restorative justice, healing circles, honouring the voice of others, 'like a spiritual process', something dialogic transforming relationships, restoring dignity not labelling, but we need to avoid it being colonised again in institutions. The South African Truth and Reconciliation commission might be an example [brilliant example where Mrs Konile whose son was killed develops and narrative which 'included a dream episode and an incident with a goat. Apparently it did not work well in translation so the court was disinclined to regard testimony and 'said she was crazy' (93), but a deeper interpretation would find coherence and resistance to other frameworks, dreams that connect to a culture and ancestral worlds… 'It took special listeners to hear her story'] [apparently this issue has been written up]

We need a politics of hope as 'an ontological need' (94) we should write resistance stories, utopian narratives, new spaces of resistance, and transform the world, investing 'great emotion and passion'. PF is our inspiration, and an episode is related where he came to realise that his depression had a deeper core, and that he needed to transform concrete conditions via pedagogies of oppression. So 'first there must be pain and despair', consciously reflected upon and then leading to a conscious struggle to change.

In the coda, it is acknowledged that templates for social justice and human rights 'move in several directions at the same time'(95) [but they seem to be compatible because 'members are united in their commitment' and have a shared ethical agenda with the voices of the oppressed at the centre. It 'encourages indigenous forms of democratic self-governance', restorative justice 'indigenous ways of healing, healing circles, spiritual practices, forgiveness, harmony, dignity' (96)

Notes at the end show how successful the congresses have been ending with over 1000 delegates, and it also lists the topics — ethics and politics, qualitative inquiry and evidence, ethics and social justice, human rights, qualitative inquiry for a global community in crisis, and there are edited volumes containing proceedings.

Chapter 8 coda

We have to change the world the ethical, confront injustice, making justice visible, react to history, make history present, use a whole range of new experimental methods especially autoethnography and performance ethnography. Each chapter in the book can be a catalyst. We need to care, remember and struggle, provoke change. Wright Mills was into this to and it was he apparently who 'invited us to see ourselves as universal singulars, as persons who universalise, and our particular lives, this concrete historical moment' (97 – 8). There will be renewed efforts in the next decade we will explore and develop restorative justice we will 'heal the wounds of globalisation' and realise utopian dreams. However, the advances can easily be overturned, and critical qualitative inquirers are underdogs.

Appendix 1 a teaching template. This is a one semester 'advanced interpretive methodology seminar' it focuses on decolonising emancipatory discourses and indigenous epistemologies, there are readings and assignments to foreground 'localised critical theory, critical personal narratives, indigenous participatory theatre' (99), and they want to see how critical inquiry can be used to stage performances 'that enact visions of a free democratic society'. They also want to disrupt business as usual with conventional qualitative inquiry.

Pre-requisites are previous coursework in qualitative research, '  A background in critical pedagogy, critical race and indigenous decolonising discourses will be useful' [outsiders need not apply]. Course requirements are 'three performance-based texts grounded in epiphanic, racialised personal experience', one take-home exam. There are also discussions in writing or film groups. Students prepare manuscripts for publication at the International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry [director N Denzin — closes the publication loop nicely.] 'Members will sign up to bring soul food to the seminar' and a different performance group will stage ten minute scripted interpretations of the week's reading materials.

The assignments: an 'experimental, personal experience, autoethnographic text, based on an epiphanic moment in your own life connected to a moment of heightened racial consciousness. Deploy the representational strategies of Seldana and A Smith. An assignment based on revision of Saldana, Smith, Madison and Denzin constructing a performance text, connected to 'a variety of popular, political culture texts' [which may be specified?]. A take-home exam [what on earth are they?] to be completed in a week. An assignment that requires them to 'use Kaufmann, Saldana, Madison, Denzin and the mystory as models for producing a dialogical emancipatory play to be co-performed by/with class'

[I thought I read somewhere that the experience does not have to be racialised, and that 'soul food' can be any food expressing cultural values, but I can't find it]

Set texts are recommended, and films, there is a calendar of readings and assignments — materials they can use in their assignments by the look of things, and some materials as well for the take-home exam and performance narratives. The 'take-home essay exam' is to occupy 'no more than one page [250 words]' (101) and it seems to have the following rubric: 'building on Smith, Ladson–Billings, Madison, Ellis, Kaufmann, Saldana and others who write about a decolonising performance aesthetic, articulate the epistemological and ethical assumptions that define the broad contours of the interpretive community you belong to. Indicate how you would apply this framework and decolonising autoethnographic project focused on issues of racism and social justice' [in 250 words!] There are no assessment criteria, and the instructions are pretty vague — 'build upon' means 'agree with'? I wonder if any indigenous student is smart enough to demand that their own indigenous criteria are used in any assessment?]

Appendix 2 an ethical code

Yada yada social justice, 'framed by human rights agendas' 'however a code of ethics cannot guarantee ethical behaviour' [especially if you are urged to consider indigenous values as sacred or follow your own conscience]. (103)

There are core values, social justice, integrity, love, resistance et cetera. They have ethical responsibilities to themselves 'stakeholders, to clients, to those we study, to the broader society, to other professionals' [nice group to balance against each other]. They oppose standard IRB principles and have their own concepts of justice harm and benefit grounded in human rights. 'These ethical standards and procedures guide the research activity of interpretive scholars'. The public is to offer 'informed participation' via ethno and community performances.

The values are implemented through ethical practices [9 in all, all beginning with 'strive to'] (104) — use process informed consent, get training in oral history need to viewing, go for intellectual honesty, including 'always respect and honour the narrator's point of view' [presumably the subject being interviewed?] Avoid promises that can't be met to retain integrity, never do harm, 'tell as much of the truth as you can', exhibit compassion and care, and enact a pedagogy and ethic of love 'practice and ethic of equity' and a 'social ethic of resistance'

And then it ended

Back to Denzin page