Publication Details

Levy, G., Halse, C. & Wright, J. (2016). Down the methodological rabbit hole: thinking diffractively with resistant data. Qualitative Research, 16 (2), 183-197.


This article, part of a larger study, began with an inquiry into the ways a small group of preteen boys and girls with diagnosed eating disorders discussed their ideas and attitudes about healthy bodies in individual interviews. Despite applying some of the usual analytic procedures, the data yielded little of significance in relation to body and health discourses, or to gender differences. We therefore wondered whether our underlying epistemological lenses and methodological toolkit had prevented us from seeing and hearing what was happening with this particular cohort. By shifting from a predominantly feminist post-structuralist, socio-cultural approach to one more inflected with varieties of feminist post-humanism and post-qualitative thinking, the data came differently into focus, and invited closer consideration. Employing a diffractive analysis then allowed some fresh, unexpected salience in the data to become more apparent.

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