- Slides: 19
Research assemblages and epistemological commitments Dr Zowie Davy Senior Lecturer, School of Health and Social Care
Introduction • Doing and producing research: – research machines – research-assemblage – research-as-assemblage Fox, N. J. , & Alldred, P. (2014). New materialist social inquiry: designs, methods and the research-assemblage. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, 18(4), 399 -414.
Introduction • “It seems crucial to sustain a non-censorious curiosity about the complex relations between power and [trans* and] sexuality even as we open up the space for curiosity and honest exploration of fantasies, desires and practices. In the field of representations, there is no disclosure without concomitant closures, erasures, and silences. What gets occluded even as the supposedly repressed or disallowed enjoys a new celebration? ” (Martin, 1996: 112).
Data circles • From 2007 until the end of 2012, each work group met regularly in person and on conference calls. They reviewed DSM-IV’s strengths and problems, from which research questions and hypotheses were developed, followed by thorough investigations of literature reviews and analyses of existing data. Based on their comprehensive review of scientific advancements, targeted research analyses, and clinical expertise, the work groups developed draft DSM-5 diagnostic criteria. The final, approved DSM-5 was released in May 2013 at APA's Annual Meeting.
Data circles • The logic is: in order to be truly trans or nonbinary you must perform your gender in a particular way (according to the manuals), then researchers ask questions about the ways that you do your gender, which will retrieve data in line with expected gender inflections, then researchers analyze the results and find that they are similar to what the manual says returning us back to the start and reaffirming rather than deterritorializing processes of trans and non-binary becoming.
Data circles • Linstead and Pullen (2006) argue that social meanings have already been assigned to biological features that far exceed anything warranted by biology. • Gender and gendered traits always remain in excess of the scientific variables being used.
Data circles • “multiplicity of molecular combinations bringing into play not only the man in the woman and the woman in the man, but the relation to […] a thousand tiny sexes” (cited in Linstead & Pullen, 2006: 1301)
Data Circles • “[w]ithin this shared terrain, many differences emerge both within and between [the scientific and the social literatures] on the questions of how to theorize the social in the scientific and about the scientific in the social, and how to create a language that does not separate science from society” (Fujimura, 2006: 49).
Pitting one against the other • “ligne de fuite” in A Thousand Plateaus, has been translated as “lines of flight, ” • the acts of fleeing, eluding, flowing, leaking and disappearing into the distance (Deleuze and Guattari, 2004: xvii). • (n sexes)
Pitting one against the other • “the full body does not represent anything at all […] cultures designate regions on this body-that is, zones of intensities, fields of potentials. Phenomena of individualization and sexualization are produced within these fields. We pass from one field to another by crossing thresholds: we never stop migrating, we become other individuals as well as other sexes[/genders]” (Deleuze and Guattari, 1984: 85).
Future directions, from etiology trans contexts • I had decided I was going to transition […] your body does really dictate what you can do and who you are, what can be done to you, how you live. Something as basic, well it is not basic but as simple as [Sex Reassignment Surgery] SRS suddenly changes the way you experience the world. The way your thoughts refer to objects, receptacles, for instance, all the symbolism we have in Western society of poles and swords, it is funny to switch sides, it is quite strange (Amy).
Future directions, from etiology trans contexts • this is me, it is probably as feminine as I ever get. I think where I am heading is: well the hair will be longer, I will have a few hair extensions put in to make it thicker, I will have a few more tattoos and piercings maybe a slightly more fitted teeshirt and maybe a skirt to look a little more femme or wavering around genderqueer (Amy).
Future directions, from etiology trans contexts • if I had a wife and kids and my wife accepted my body, how it was then, maybe I wouldn’t [have had surgery] and I think that is a huge deal for me, having someone accept me, but at the same time, and maybe for the same reason that [famous trans man] has had it done, maybe he thought that there was always something missing, and I would have eventually had it done (Benjamin)
Future directions, from etiology trans contexts • “an attitude, an ethos, a philosophical life in which the critique of what we are is at one and the same time the historical analysis of the limits that are imposed on us and an experiment with the possibility of going beyond them” (Foucault, 1991: 50).
Future directions, from etiology trans contexts • swaying more towards it [body modification]. And yes I probably would, it is a huge decision because it is obviously for a lifetime […] I suppose it is about, is it right or wrong for me, not for other people but for me. Is this something I should fight against? Is this something that I should accept or should I just learn to accept it? […] Well I belong to the group […] and there a lot of people, so I have spoken to them. I think a lot of people find that there a range of different ideas; some people feel that they have to have every possible option before they will be happy. For me, if I do one thing, will that be fine for a little while? If it is not then you will have to go another step (Charles).
Productive assemblages • This is one that personally I think you should go through it. But this is only me personally […] but if it is on medical grounds that they can’t have it, I don’t mind it. But for Ft. M [female to male] this is where I know if you have gone through the hormonal change with testosterone, as long as there on them and I prefer if they have had a hysterectomy they should have it, they are a guy. Then it’s just they haven’t had the downstairs bit done, which for a lot of Ft. M’s it is not particularly brilliant what they can do. But that’s me, I know both sides of the story, I mean my own personal view and what I do at work [counsellor] are two different things. I support anyone whether they have had surgery or not (Steph)
Productive assemblages • “As we rise up from the operating tables of our rebirth, we transsexuals are something more […] than the creatures our makers intended us to be” (Stryker, 2006: 248).
Productive assemblages • I didn’t mind before [bilateral mastectomy], but I don’t like it so much now. I feel a bit embarrassed, a bit like a butcher’s shop. I think I felt a lot more comfortable when we were supposed to be gay, as people saw us. I would often walk around with nothing on and I never do it now. I always shut the bathroom door now and I think I have become more private than ever (Jason).
Concluding remarks about research assemblages Sample Analytical perspective what you want to understand Goa(s)l time Research Conceptual question(s) framework Funding Research group Research skills Methods Ethics committee space Validity