Object interviews, material imaginings and 'unsettling' methods: interdisciplinary approaches to understanding materials and material culture

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Abstract

This article aims to explore the possibilities and limitations of contemporary qualitative methods for understanding materials and material culture and how these can be expanded through interdisciplinary approaches. Taking the case study of an interdisciplinary project into old jeans, the article firstly considers the use of object interviews and life histories to explore how people ‘speak’ the material. Secondly, it develops the possibilities afforded by inventive material methods, such as socio-archaeological approaches of ‘material imaginings’. Finally, the article discusses the interdisciplinary methods of design and of textile technology through the dialogues that took place around the methods and data. Focusing upon dialogues offers a means of exploring the tensions and also connections between methods as a site for expanding qualitative understandings of materials as ‘live’ and vibrant. It aims to widen the remit of qualitative research methods to incorporate the material.
Original languageEnglish
JournalQualitative Research
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • Mixed-methods
  • Interdisciplinary
  • Materials
  • Material culture
  • Object interviews
  • Clothing

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