Thursday 24 September 2015

#TheoryThursday




I met the rhizome about two and a half years ago and since then it won't go away. Honestly once you know about it, you'll see it everywhere, kind of like the game, which you just lost. We were introduced by Deleuze and Guattari in 1987 at 'A Thousand Plateaus'* but I'm gonna make the call and say a lot of people conceived of the world through rhizomic glasses before that.

People that know about plants probably know the rhizome as a botanical term referring to 'a continuously growing horizontal underground stem which puts out lateral shoots and adventitious roots at intervals' #google. 

Well rhizome the theory is pretty much the same. 

Just like ginger, it is resilient and has the capacity to regenerate.

Just like potatoes, it involves multiple connections and a lack of hierarchy.

Just like pingao, it spreads through underground systems and has multiple entryways.

Just like bamboo, it reproduces through imitation and deterritorialisation. 

And just like ferns it's made up of multiplicities with no unifying centre.

Wednesday 2 September 2015

#TheoryThursday






Understanding Reflexivity 

Reflexivity is the awareness of the effect that anthropologists have on their research, the experience of fieldwork and the process of writing ethnography - applying a reflexive approach allows one to reflect on the production of ethnographic material. Ethnography is affected by the anthropologist in a number of ways - their position, personal history, socio-cultural circumstances, the theoretical framework within which they are working and the relationship between themselves and their participants. By being reflexive, anthropologists consider the effects that all of these have on their work and therefore situate themselves within their research.

Acknowledging my position in my research

For my master's research, I looked at the embodiment of fatness - that is, the lived experience of being, and living, fat (a quick note that my participants and I came to a mutual agreement to use the word fat rather than 'obese' or 'overweight' as the word fat is only viewed as a negative term because we have implied that is a bad thing to be. By using the word fat to describe their bodies, participants and I were reclaiming the word as a self-identifying term, rather than something rude or negative).

This research focused on the way in which fat individuals experience, negotiate and feel about their own bodies and I did this through the use of photographs - all of my participants were asked to provide images  that represented their experiences of living life as a fat person, these images were accompanied by narratives and stories throughout my thesis. And this choice of methodology came from a reflexive acknowledgement of myself, my position in my research, and my own body.