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A method of intuition: becoming, relationality, ethics

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date11/2008
JournalHistory of the Human Sciences
Journal number4
Volume21
Number of pages20
Pages104-123
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article examines social research on the relations between (young) women's bodies and images through Bergson's method of intuition, which suggests that the only way a thing can be known is through coinciding with the uniqueness of its becoming. I suggest that in this aim, intuition is, necessarily, an intimate research method. Rather than apply Bergson's argument to this area of social research, I examine the resonances between his philosophical method and the moves within social research to attend to the performativity, creativity or inventiveness of research methods. With a focus on my own research, which explored the relations between 13 girls' bodies and images from a feminist-Deleuzian position, I argue here that the interconnected issues of becoming, uniqueness and coincidence that Bergson raises connect with concerns in social research about ontology, concepts and methods. In particular, I suggest that relationality is crucial to these connections. Drawing through the significance of relations, I argue that intimate, intuitive research is desirable because of the ethics that it opens up and enables; ethics intimate in attention to the becoming unique to the object at stake in research and in the attempt to coincide with this uniqueness.

Bibliographic note

“The final, definitive version of this article has been published in the Journal, History of the Human Sciences, 21 (4), 2008, © SAGE Publications Ltd, 2008 by SAGE Publications Ltd at the History of the Human Sciences page: http://hhs.sagepub.com/ on SAGE Journals Online: http://online.sagepub.com/