Opening Spaces of Possibility: The Enactive as a Qualitative Research Approach

Johnna Haskell, Warren Linds, John Ippolito


In this jointly written article, reflexivity and subjectivity in qualitative research are addressed through an enactive view/approach incorporating embodied knowing. Inspired by MERLEAU-PONTY's (1962) concepts of embodied action, this approach implies that knowing emerges collectively through engagement in shared action. Embodied action brings forth an awareness of inquiry which is not attached to any one event or concept but is, rather, an un-grounding, as knowing is shaped by our actions with/in the world. Groundlessness is an exciting "space" where possibility arises for how we think about knowledge, cognition, and experience. If knowledge and learning are not located in a body, but in the shifting movement of experiencing, new possibilities emerge for how researchers perceive, interpret, research, and interact within the world. We cannot imagine ourselves just "operating in" research settings, and then leaving the cultures of which we are part. Nor can we ignore the ethics of research, since research is also the site of an ongoing ethical event implicating all those involved. Research informed by and respectful of complex worlds are instances of complicity where our research unfolds with/in communities-in-the-making. Opportunities for shared, relational, and embodied interpretation practices open as we share our research in situated contexts—the outdoors, within drama workshops, and in second language learning environments.
URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs0203145


experiencing; embodied; knowing; bodymind; action; awareness; ethics; language; performative inquiry; co-emergence; possibility; pedagogy

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Copyright (c) 2002 Johnna Haskell, Warren Linds, John Ippolito

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