Overview of the research project
Overview of rhizomatic methodologies
Applying rhizotextual analytic techniques to data
Investigate the teaching of digital literacy practices in one school
Apply the Four Resources Literacy Framework as a mapping tool to investigate the types of resources being encouraged by teachers in their literacy teaching practices around digital texts
Engage teachers in self-reflexive work that would encourage the development of new pedagogical practices to improve the use of digital texts in their literacy classes
Overview of a rhizomatic methodology using Deleuze and Guattari‟s thinking about rhizomes.
The sixth moment of qualitative inquiry demands that researchers rethink traditional definitions of ethical research practices. In addition, the crisis of representation demands that researchers rethink the function of writing in qualitative research. In this article, the author illustrates how she used Deleuze’s ethical principles as well as Deleuze and Guattari’s figurations of the rhizome, the fold, the nomad, and haecceity to address both of these issues in her study of the construction of subjectivity of a group of older, White southern women in her hometown. Mapping how her understanding of subjectivity has shifted as she has employed these figurations in her writing, she suggests that texts can be the site of ethical work as researchers use writing to help them think differently – an ethical practice of postfoundational inquiry – about both the topic of their studies and the methodology.
The path to stability and sustainability in human society lies in the conscious manipulation of memetic control structures. Learning to weave cultural elements, technologies and political-economic structures to suit the individual requires a detailed understanding of our relationship with the meme. This, in turn, requires the consideration of two key factors: the degree to which we have the ability to use memes freely without creating a dependence on them, and the related power– relationships we must accept in order to utilize selected memes, such as certain technologies. A simple symbolic model suggested by French philosophers Giles Deleuze and Felix Guatari presents a means of harnessing memetic structures without depending on them: the concept of rhizome versus hierarchy. Rhizome provides us with another example of a proven, evolutionarily successful pattern. It acts as the counterpart to, and in many ways is the opposite of, the pattern of hierarchy.
Philosopher Philip Bobbitt, in his seminal work “The Shield of Achilles”, proposed that the 20th century was defined by the ideological conflicts between socialism, fascism and capitalism. These competing ideologies purported to offer the hierarchal control structure most suited to meeting the needs of the people. In the course of this conflict, asymmetric warfare—the use of non-hierarchal structures to successfully confront hierarchy—was refined. The conflicts of the 20th century forged current theories of rhizome—the name for non-hierarchal, asymmetrical and networked patterns of organization. Empowered by a revolution in communication technology and the spread of democratic freedoms, the conflicts of the 21st century will be defined not by past political ideologies, but by a much more fundamental, structural conflict: hierarchy vs. rhizome.
‘Research Methods’: a compulsory course, which is loved by some but hated by many! This stimulating book is about what went wrong with ‘research methods’. Its controversial argument is radical, even revolutionary. John Law argues that methods don’t just describe social realities but also help to create them. The implications of this argument are highly significant. If this is the case, methods are always political, and this raises the question of what kinds of social realities we want to create. Most current methods look for clarity and precision. It is usually said that messy findings are a product of poor research. The idea that things in the world might be fluid, elusive, or multiple is unthinkable. Law’s startling argument is that this is wrong and it is time for a new approach. Many realities, he says, are vague and ephemeral. If methods want to know and to help shape the world, then they need to reinvent their practice and their politics in order to deal with mess. That is the challenge. Nothing else will do. This book is essential reading for students, postgraduates and researchers with an interest in methodology. John Law is Professor of Sociology and Technology Studies at Lancaster University. He has written widely on social theory, methodology, technologies, and health care.
In practice research needs to be messy and heterogeneous. It needs to be messy and heterogeneous, because that is the way it, research, actually is. And also, and more importantly, it needs to be messy because that is the way the largest part of the world is. Messy, unknowable in a regular and routinised way. Unknowable, therefore, in ways that are definite or coherent. Clarity doesn’t help. Disciplined lack of clarity, that may be what we need. In After Method: Mess in Social Science Research, Law elaborates upon this argument at much greater length. He does so in his own way, drawing on his immersion in the discourses of actor- network theory (ANT) and its successor projects. I also find ANT to be very generative in thinking about methodology but my current preference is to engage messy and heterogeneous objects of inquiry through the frames and figurations provided by Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘geophilosophy’, especially their concepts of rhizome and nomad.
The leitmotif of this paper is the act of bridging gaps between the conceptual, methodological and experiential. Foremost it is an attempt to fuse aspects of the abstract philosophy of Deleuze and Guattari with anthropological understandings of Global Assemblages through incorporation of theory into everyday life. Here, we describe our journey exploring Deleuze and Guattari’s conceptual Rhizome. It was an experiment, undertaken in order to bring new ideas to bear on our current and future ethnographic research relating to bioethics, clinical trials and the complexities of international science collaborations in Sri Lanka. In working to bridge a perceived gap between Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy and our familiar anthropological canon, we made real the abstract rhizomatic thinking they describe, through interaction with a physical rhizome, or plant root.
In this brief essay, I share some experiences of writing ‘to find something out’ by focusing on a process that I have deployed in three narrative experiments inspired by Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari’s figuration of the rhizome—a process that I characterize as rhizosemiotic play. My ‘reports’ of these experiments are available elsewhere, and my intention here is simply to demonstrate some textual strategies that I use in performing such experiments, with particular reference to the generativity of intertextual readings of selected fictions in catalyzing them.
Thinking about the future of educational research requires a conceptual resource that is itself both imaginative and multiple and at the same time articulates a world with those self-same characteristics. This is provided by the work of Deleuze and Guattari. Discussion of the future of research is located in a context of lifelong learning in the contemporary moment of ubiquitous electronic communication. I argue that the research process, contrary to the model of science, can be better understood as rhizomatic rather than arborescent and powered by desire rather than objectivity. Lifelong learning is a rhizome and requires a rhizomatic approach and sensibility on the part of the researcher. The hyper-connectivity of the Internet reinforces this development influencing the way research is carried out and the way its knowledge outcomes are distributed and used – a research without hierarchy and authority.
I see rhizomatics as a potent metaphor for conceptualizing the process of learning, and for approaching how we go about learning and working with learning. The value in the idea of the rhizome, for me, is the way in which it foregrounds the unpredictability, the messiness, the connectedness, and the multi-directionality of learning, knowledge, and educational research. I see rhizomatic learning almost as a lens, a pair of glasses one learns to put on in order to view the educational landscape.
The rhizome is non-binary, non-hierarchical, and non-linear: it’s also aggressive and chaotic and resists the tree-like arboreal model of knowledge. For Deleuze & Guattari, it is a cultural process that emphasizes “ceaselessly established connections between semiotic chains, organizations of power, and circumstances relative to the arts, sciences, and social struggles.” Yeh. That.
I don’t think rhizomatic learning can be used particularly effectively to address grading, or curriculum, or most of the structures of systemic education. The rhizome is not a way of tweaking the systems we have.
The article describes and demonstrates the use of a new research proposal for understanding the complexity in organizations in terms of a Deleuzian sense of an event. It creates the rhizome metaphor that allows the emergence of different ways of systems thinking, a legitimate challenge to the Modernist’s orthodoxy. For Deleuze and Guattari, micropolitics are the essence of what we call ‘rhizomatic systems.’ It is this concept of the organization, as a rhizome or rhizomatic systems that we want to focus from ‘problem solving’ in a real-world situation to the process of problematization, that is, the making or appreciating a series of events in the problematizing fields. The paper draws on the research experience in which participatory action research was carried out in a Korean distribution company. The participatory learning process happened to create a series of events in which ‘time-related research’ was conducted in order to facilitate the process of problematization within the organization.
This paper seeks to further substantiate and appreciate the importance of West Churchman’s pragmatic philosophy, and to propose the development of what we call the participatory and rhizomatic systems approach. The aim of rhizomatics is to create a deterritoriazation of current social ﬁelds and to make sense of the creation of the rhizomatic networks and ethics for the marginalized group in practice. This paper takes the contributions of Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s notion of rhizome on ethical reasoning and incorporates them into a test. It examines how ethics for the marginalized group can assist in appreciating and developing ethical management of any systemic intervention. The paper looks into what ethics for the marginalized group is and how it is achieved in the context of rhizomatic networks.
Through network diagrams and sustained narrative, Randall Collins traces the development of philosophical thought in China, Japan, India, ancient Greece, the medieval Islamic and Jewish world, medieval Christendom, and modern Europe. What emerges from this history is a general theory of intellectual life, one that avoids both the reduction of ideas to the influences of society at large and the purely contingent local construction of meanings. Instead, Collins focuses on the social locations where sophisticated ideas are formed: the patterns of intellectual networks and their inner divisions and conflicts. According to his theory, when the material bases of intellectual life shift with the rise and fall of religions, educational systems, and publishing markets, opportunities open for some networks to expand while others shrink and close down. It locates individuals — among them celebrated thinkers like Socrates, Aristotle, Chu Hsi, Shankara, Wirt Henstein, and Heidegger — within these networks and explains the emotional and symbolic processes that, by forming coalitions within the mind, ultimately bring about original and historically successful ideas.
Whereas much research has been done on the benefits of social capital, less is known about the causes of the unequal distribution of social capital in people’s networks. This study examines inequalities in access to social capital in terms of the socio-economic resources that are embedded in personal networks. Using data from NELLS, a nationally representative survey of the Dutch population aged 15–45 years, results show that within this age group access to social capital increases with age and educational qualifications, and is lower among women. Residing in a less affluent neighbourhood and scoring lower on a measurement for cognitive abilities are associated with less social capital. Participation in voluntary associations and having an ethnically diverse network are associated with more access to social capital. Surprisingly, when studying differences across national origin groups, we do not find that Turkish immigrants are disadvantaged in access to social capital.
This book presents the framework for a new, comprehensive approach to cognitive science. The proposed paradigm, enaction, offers an alternative to cognitive science’s classical, first-generation Computational Theory of Mind (CTM). Enaction, first articulated by Varela, Thompson, and Rosch in The Embodied Mind, breaks from CTM’s formalisms of information processing and symbolic representations to view cognition as grounded in the sensorimotor dynamics of the interactions between a living organism and its environment. A living organism enacts the world it lives in; its embodied action in the world constitutes its perception and thereby grounds its cognition. Enaction offers a range of perspectives on this exciting new approach to embodied cognitive science. Some chapters offer manifestos for the enaction paradigm; others address specific areas of research, including artificial intelligence, developmental psychology, neuroscience, language, phenomenology, and culture and cognition. Three themes emerge as testimony to the originality and specificity of enaction as a paradigm: the relation between first-person lived experience and third-person natural science; the ambition to provide an encompassing framework applicable at levels from the cell to society; and the difficulties of reflexivity. Taken together, the chapters offer nothing less than the framework for a far-reaching renewal of cognitive science.
This paper examines the possibility of applying the principles of cultural sociology to the study of the history of education and training. Although research into the development of education and training in the recent decades has been quite sociological in character, most sociological concepts used in such studies do not adequately addresses the issue of culture. Existing studies are mostly based on utilitarian and materialistically oriented approaches. This is why we believe it is necessary to develop more culturally-oriented perspective that would offer appropriate analytical tools to study the cultural dimension of the development of education and training. In our opinion, the cultural sociology of J. C. Alexander with its concepts of cultural codes, narratives and metanarratives offers precisely this perspective. It is precisely these tools that we apply to four problems in the historical study of education and training.
What is thought and how does one come to study and understand it? How does the mind work? Does cognitive science explain all the mysteries of the brain? This collection of fourteen original essays from some of the top sociologists opens a dialogue between cognitive science and cultural sociology, encouraging a new network of scientific collaboration and stimulating new lines of social scientific research. Rather than considering thought as just an individual act, Culture in Mind considers it in a social and cultural context. Provocatively, this suggests that our thoughts do not function in a vacuum: our minds are not alone. Covering such diverse topics as the nature of evil, the process of storytelling, defining mental illness, and the conceptualizing of the premature baby, these essays offer fresh insights into the functioning of the mind. Culture in Mind will uncover the mysteries of how we think.
Trust is at issue when someone makes oneself vulnerable to another who can harm if the trust is misplaced. The recipient of trust is either trustworthy or not, and much of the literature revolves around the evaluation of the trustworthiness of the trusted by the trustor. Trust can exist among those who know each other intimately (personal trust) and among strangers (interpersonal, social, or generalized trust). Trust can have as its object other people or institutions and organizations. In conceptualizing trust to undertake empirical research, two crucial distinctions exist: cognitive vs non-cognitive trust and personalized vs generalized trust. The more instrumental and cognitive theorists tend to treat trust as an estimate of the trustworthiness of those with whom one has relationships as individuals or within social networks. In contrast are those who claim trust is dispositional or moralistic. While each tradition treats the work trust does as an empirical question, their conceptualizations are sufficiently distinct so that both their presumptions of the role that trust plays in society and their findings are often incompatible. This leads to debate about the sources of trust and whether trust is essential for good government, economic growth, and harmony. Trust and trustworthiness are distinct but so implicated with each other that it is generally necessary to consider the second in contemplating the first. Indeed, much of the literature revolves around how to establish and assess the trustworthiness of persons, organizations, and institutions.
We present some initial forays into the questions that underlie the philosophy of the Web around the notions of representation, enactive search, the extended mind, and collective intelligence.
Having philosophers seriously move their research programmes into the nature of the Web will doubtless cause a paradigmatic shift in the debate over cognition and the Extended Mind, and thus more generally in the relationship between philosophy and the Web. A successful philosophy of the Web depends on taking an approach to the philosophical questions that remains grounded in the science and technology of the Web, including detailed rigorous inspection of empirical work we have not had the space to delve into here. However, it should be clear that a careful analysis of a wide interdisciplinary literature is necessary, a literature that extends beyond the traditional grounds of cognitive science and into studies of online communities, human-computer interaction, information retrieval, hypertext, and the Semantic Web. Although we have not answered all the questions that a philosophy of the Web should answer in order to provide answers to outstanding questions from the philosophy of mind and language, we have at least made a map of the territory for future research. Philosophy may be part of Web Science after all.
This paper explores how the ideas of a great political thinker and philosopher Antonio Gramsci, are relevant to education and science and to critical science education. One of the main points in Gramsci’s analysis is the social value and impact of certain aspects of the superstructure. He understands that education is a means which can be used for the reproduction of the social structure and that science and its uses may, in a certain way, replace religion in its function of justifying existing social structure. In analysing the role of education in capitalist society, he attempts to suggest a different use and hierarchy for education and science, moreover, one that can empower counter-hegemonic action for social change.