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“Publish?” “Perish . . . Oh No” An Ethological Interrogation of Sense-Making and Resistance in Word Association as Inquiry

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jats:p This article deliberates the contribution of a methodological “mattering” tool, word association as inquiry. Word association generally involves responding to a word prompt, or series of prompts, with the first word or idea that one can think of. It might be assumed that word association activities yield eclectic and unpredictable reactions. During interviews with 16 U.K.-based academics, however, the idiom “publish or perish” was repeated by eight individuals. This article considers such repetition in view of new materialist and Deleuzian ideas, speculating the influence of prepersonal and affective practice processes on participant responses. By putting three nonrepresentational concepts to work—becoming, sense, and affect—it is argued that word association tasks and the “sense-event” they incur both highlight and interrogate taken-for-granted truths and ways of being. Consequently, this methodological intervention could generate new relations and material effects that render resistance “becoming not impossible”. </jats:p>



39 Education, 3904 Specialist Studies In Education

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Qualitative Inquiry

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SAGE Publications