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International Journal of Qualitative Methods

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In this essay, I playfully engage the reflections of scholars pursuing postqualitative inquiry by presenting how I employed methodological syncretism as a practice of figuration. I show how I enacted a “groping experimentation” with postqualitative research in the leisure context of a brewery, combining the conventional humanistic qualitative method of ethnographic observation with the new materialist and posthumanist sensibilities of postqualitative inquiry. I share how I engaged my body to join in the affective sociomateriality of a drinking establishment, attending to the object materiality and performativity of beer as it sluiced its way through tap lines, synced up with the sonic waves of background music, and danced its way around the silicate of pint glasses before sliding down esophagi, into capillaries, and slipping between the cracks of conversation. Ruminating on this syncretistic practice, I grapple with the multiple subjectivities of the researcher-literature-field assemblage, the possibility of “observing” material actors, and the incommensurability of methodological syncretism. I speculate that (1) methodological syncretism, while ontologically and epistemologically unintelligible, may work as a strategy of researcher-becoming and (2) a fallibilistic attitude fosters freedom to play with methodological knowledge/practice, recognizing the possibility that such play might produce different ways of knowing, being, and doing (research).


This article was published openly thanks to the University of Tennessee Open Publishing Support Fund.

Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International license.

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