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From cartonera publishing practices to trans-formal methods for qualitative research

Bell, L; Flynn, A; O'Hare, P; (2020) From cartonera publishing practices to trans-formal methods for qualitative research. Qualitative Research 10.1177/1468794120914516. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and counter-disciplinarity are the hallmark of cultural studies and qualitative research, as scholars over the past three decades have discussed through extensive self-reflexive inquiry into their own unstable and ever-shifting methods (Denzin and Lincoln, 2018; Dicks et al., 2006: 78; Grossberg, 2010). Building on the interdisciplinary thought of Jacques Rancière and Caroline Levine on the one hand and traditions of participatory action research and activist anthropology on the other, we bring the methods conversation forward by shifting the focus from disciplines to forms and by making a case for aesthetic practice as qualitative research process. In this paper, the question of methods is approached through the action-based Cartonera Publishing Project with editoriales cartoneras in Latin America – community publishers who make low-cost books out of materials recovered from the street in the attempt to democratise and decolonise literary/artistic production – and specifically through our process-oriented, collaborative work with four cartonera publishers in Brazil and Mexico. Guided by the multiple forms of cartonera knowledge production, which are rooted not in academic research but rather in aesthetic practice and community relations, we offer an innovative ‘trans-formal’ methodological framework, which opens up new pathways for practitioners and researchers to work, think and act across social, cultural and aesthetic forms.

Type: Article
Title: From cartonera publishing practices to trans-formal methods for qualitative research
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1468794120914516
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1468794120914516
Language: English
Additional information: © 2020 by SAGE Publications. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Keywords: qualitative methods, interdisciplinarity, cultural studies, anthropology, aesthetics, collaborative research, ethnography, cartonera
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10111412
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