Researching ‘non-sexualities’ via creative notebooks: epistemology, embodiment and empowerment

Cuthbert, K. (2022) Researching ‘non-sexualities’ via creative notebooks: epistemology, embodiment and empowerment. Qualitative Research, 22(6), pp. 897-915. (doi: 10.1177/1468794121999011)

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This article contributes to and extends critical scholarship on the philosophy and practical application of creative methods. I suggest that claims commonly made regarding the ‘potential’ of creative methods can be (re)organised as claims relating to (1) epistemology, (2) embodiment and (3) empowering participants. I evaluate these claims through the contextual lens of a research project on ‘non-sexualities’ wherein I incorporated a creative element (creative notebooks) into the research design. Through analysis of research artefacts and observations of the research process, I reflect upon how the notebooks were particularly good for ‘getting at’ embodiment and had a clear epistemological value in facilitating expressions of complexity, contradictions and ambiguities. However, I also discuss my scepticism with regard to claims made about the empowering potential of creative methods, as the notebooks potentially worked to reproduce certain power dynamics rather than eliminate them. I argue that class in particular needs to be given more attention in critical accounts of creative methods.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cuthbert, Dr Karen
Authors: Cuthbert, K.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Qualitative Research
Publisher:SAGE Publications
ISSN (Online):1741-3109
Published Online:17 March 2021
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2021 The Author
First Published:First published in Qualitative Research 22(6): 897-915
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
190423ESRC Doctoral Training Centre 2011...Mary Beth KneafseyEconomic and Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/J500136/1Research and Innovation Services