Challenging Anthropocentric Analysis of Visual Data: A Relational Materialist Methodological Approach to Educational Research

Sep. 01, 2010

Source: International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Volume 23, Issue 5, (September 2010), pages 525 – 542.

The purpose of this article is to challenge the habitual anthropocentric gaze we use when analyzing educational data. This anthropocentric view takes human beings as the starting point and center, and gives humans a self-evident higher position above other matter in reality.

By enacting analysis of photographic images from a preschool playground, using a relational materialist methodological approach, the authors put to work concepts that open up possibilities to understand the child as emergent in a relational field, where non-human forces are equally at play in constituting children's becomings.

In the second part of the article, the authors discuss how the decentring of the child may also be applied to researchers as producers of knowledge. Such a decentring, where the data itself is considered to have a constitutive force and be working upon the researcher as much as the researcher works upon the data, has both methodological and ethical consequences for research.

Updated: Mar. 01, 2011