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This online seminar series centres on innovations in research methods and methodologies and is open to scholars with novel approaches to researching narrative, time, and everyday experiences.

Wednesday 20th March 2024
13:00 - 14:00
Online event
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Using Rhizomatic Interview Techniques to Understand Young People in Education

Organised by Dr Brian McDonough, Solent University

Headshot of Jessie Bustillos Morales

Drawing on the philosophy of Deleuze and Bergson, this article discusses a set of Rhizomatic Interview Techniques (RIT) which were used during an ethnographic study of young people in a secondary school in South London, UK.

The techniques focus on capturing the offline and online experiences of British schooling and the interviews highlighted areas such as, the school curriculum, educational transitions, and youth online learning.

Drawing out different facets of duration (what can be called ‘dura-rhythms’, or different modes of time) I present how the rhizome and Bergson’s ‘duree reelle’ (‘real duration’) (2007, p. 32) refer to the exploration of lived experiences during interviews as they happen in flow. I also use Deleuze and Guattari’s (2013: 9-12) notion of rhizome as ‘a map not a tracing… The map is entirely oriented toward experimentation in contact with the real… A rhizome may be broken, shattered at a given spot, but it will start up again on one of its old lines… Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of the rhizome is that it always has multiple entryways’.

So, the rhizomatic qualitative interview emerges out of the need for more openness and experimentation in the process of interviewing, allowing participants to pursue their own lines of flight, whilst interviewers navigate the uneasiness of unanticipated interactions. 

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