Cand.polit. Ann Merete Otterstad
Staying with the trouble. Cartographing early childhood research methodologies. Postqualitative passages and shifts with new empiricism.
This thesis explores critically Norwegian early childhood knowledge production and methodologies, envisioned through different rhizomatic passages, as writing a thesis ‘differently’. One passage offers an affirmative line into early childhood methodology practices. Another passage connects a cartography of early childhood research thinking of philosophical concepts as difference. The passage about collective writing opens with writing together, visualized in/with the thesis’ seven articles as an assemblage.
The study is critical affirmative and philosophical, embedded in an alternative conceptualization – in togetherness with Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s mappings. They say ‘[t]he map is open and connectable in all of its dimensions; it is detachable, reversible, susceptible to constant modification’ (1987, p. 12). The study is experimental in form and content and is inspired by posthuman and newmaterial theories, and by the feminist scholars Karen Barad, Rosi Braidotti and Donna Haraway. Posthuman theories build on an onto-epistemology with ‘knowing and being’, ‘discourses and materials’ entangled with the researcher and the research, in ongoing becomings. Posthuman and newmaterial theories include organic and non-organic, humane and more-than-human phenomena in research.
A process-ontology challenges dualisms such as nature/culture, human/animal, subject/object. The thesis explores the concepts; philosophy of difference, nomads, lines of flight, rhizomes, intensity, becoming, movements, affect and diffractions. The concepts move away from the dominating anthropocentric child/childhood assumptions in the field. The concepts relations and relationalities revitalize and question empirical, and the new-empirism positions in post-qualitative research (e.g. Patti Lather, Hillevi Lenz Taguchi, Bettie St. Pierre & Maggie MacLure). This study is searching for data as sensory, surprising, provocative and bodily moving, which hopefully can generate something new in postqualitative research. The study is located within an affirmative process-philosophy, with becomings, complexities and movement as a force, created again and again.