Postcritical qualitative feminist research: implications for participatory and narrative approaches

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterpeer-review


In this chapter, I explore the implications of the recent socio-material turns in philosophy and theory for rethinking feminist health-related research. Feminist theories and practices have been immensely valuable to researchers and scholars seeking to develop critical, inclusive, participatory and emancipatory knowledge for challenging the status quo and promoting transformative, positive change. Recent feminist theorising is returning to the importance of material effects of processes, relations and structures of earlier feminism, but viewed anew with contemporary thinking over questions of lively matter or the active role of the material world. These authors see these developments as not only productive but also as offering more relevant responses to the ongoing troubles with our conventional ways of understanding the world. I will argue how feminist theories and research potentially utilise these theories and practices for comprehending and researching the complex, contemporary and often precarious and entangled worlds of peoples’ lives and contexts of health and care. Drawing on examples, including narrative and participatory approaches in health research, I argue for this new material turn in qualitative health related research. Drawing on performative, embodied and relational notions of identity, meanings, experience, knowledge, and importantly, context as more than mere backdrop to action, our research focus and engagements or interventions change. I conclude, far from being a threat to feminist or any more humanist-based research, these theories provide a critical, urgent impetus to political arguments for resources and the valuing of often misrecognised or hidden practices of health and care.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical Qualitative Health Research
Subtitle of host publicationExploring Philosophies, Politics and Practices
EditorsKay Aranda
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)9780429780004
ISBN (Print)9781138361263, 9781138361225
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge/CRC Press in Critical Qualitative Health Research Exploring Philosophies, Politics and Practices on 21/1/2020, available online:


Dive into the research topics of 'Postcritical qualitative feminist research: implications for participatory and narrative approaches'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this