Considering Performativity as Methodology and Phenomena


  • Susan C. Sommerfeldt University of Alberta
  • Vera Caine University of Alberta
  • Anita Molzahn University of Alberta



performativity, performative methodology, interprofessional, forum theater, healthcare, performance, health sciences, nursing, team


Performativity is both a methodology and in its complexity, phenomena. Understanding the concept, the evolution of the term and how performativity can open spaces for inquiry adds to knowledge about interprofessional healthcare teams. Distinguishing between performance and performativity is essential. In this article, we examine methodological aspects of performativity through the use of forum theater. Dialogue from a performance-based inquiry workshop with healthcare team members provides a way to discuss performative methodology. The workshop was built upon recurrent characteristics of interprofessionalism in healthcare teams seen in conversational interviews with healthcare practitioner participants. Performativity provides a way to explore the relational work in interprofessional team practices. The methodological messiness of performative inquiry is discussed.



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Author Biographies

Susan C. Sommerfeldt, University of Alberta

Susan C. SOMMERFELDT is a faculty lecturer in nursing at the University of Alberta, teaching community nursing and healthcare team development. Susan has research interests in interprofessional education, healthcare teams and clinical learning.

Vera Caine, University of Alberta

Vera CAINE is an associate professor in nursing at the University of Alberta. Vera engages in narrative inquiries alongside women living with HIV, aboriginal youth, and families in precarious housing situations.

Anita Molzahn, University of Alberta

Anita MOLZAHN is professor and Dean of the Faculty of Nursing at the University of Alberta. Anita has extensive research experience with a variety of quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods. Her clinical and research areas of interest relate to quality of life of people with chronic kidney disease.




How to Cite

Sommerfeldt, S. C., Caine, V., & Molzahn, A. (2014). Considering Performativity as Methodology and Phenomena. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 15(2).



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