Reflexive research and the (re)turn to the baroque. (Or, How I learned to stop worrying and love the university) seeks an answer to the question posed by Gilles Deleuze, ‘Why do we desire what oppresses us?"
The book presents a narrative conceived within a baroque framework which attempts, with a proper sense of irony, to reveal the truth about the academy, and the way in which, as institution, it constructs our desires. The book also sets out a methodology for exploring questions related to identity and discourses and discusses how a sense of baroque, characterised as belonging to the epistemology of the Wunderkammer (the baroque cabinet of curiosities) and the ontology of the fold (as elaborated by Deleuze), challenges current assumptions about the nature of research and our understanding of the world.
Reflexive research and the (re)turn to the baroque is a contribution to the growing body of research located within the baroque, conceptualised not as a discrete historical period, but as a recurring cultural phenomenon, which presents as counter to the prevailing orthodoxy:
To the baroque mind the world is not conceived in logical Cartesian terms. To the contrary, it is full of contradictions. The baroque mind, moreover is acutely aware of the conflict between illusion and reality, and paradox and complexity are accepted as almost natural phenomena. (Leo Forkey)
It is essential reading (writes the author) for qualitative researchers and students concerned to develop innovative approaches in their work, as well as for those with an interest in identities and processes of identification.
Cate Watson is Director of the Master of Research programme and Depute Director of Research in the School of Education, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Her main research interests are in professional and institutional identities, especially in relation to professionals working in children’s services, and the development of innovative approaches to qualitative research. She has recently co-edited (with Joan Forbes) Service integration in schools (also published by Sense).