In this article we demonstrate the use and usefulness of new materialism as an analytic lens in applied qualitative inquiry. Intended as a possible entry point to applied inquiry after the ontological turn, we draw on Barad’s agential realism to analyze three existing transcripts of focus groups conducted with healthcare workers, traditional birth attendants, and mothers to explore the postnatal care referral behavior of traditional birth attendants in Nigeria. We describe elements of our data analysis process including deep reading, summoning of the inquiry, delaying the inquiry, attuning to glowing data, and writing. We explore how the research phenomenon enacted agential cuts that distinguished participants (healthcare workers, traditional birth attendants, and mothers) and relayed their participation in the focus group. We show how the inclusion of the mothers’ babies and the transcripts themselves made available some understandings at the possible exclusion of others. Our Baradian, new materialist analysis shows the inextricability of interview materials (things) and language (discourse) and demonstrates that all applied research is bounded and affected by its material conditions. As a point of entry, we hope our illustration sensitizes applied qualitative researchers to how research decisions, research materials, and research cultures produce what can be known and lived within and beyond the research encounter.
agential realism, new materialism, post-qualitative inquiry, qualitative data analysis
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Recommended APA Citation
Marn, T., & Wolgemuth, J. R. (2021). Applied Qualitative Data Analysis After the Ontological Turn. The Qualitative Report, 26(6), 2094-2110. https://doi.org/10.46743/2160-3715/2021.5014