The Politics of Post-Qualitative Inquiry: History and Power

Jessica Gerrard*, Sophie Rudolph, Arathi Sriprakash

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we offer a critical reading of the increasingly popular “post-qualitative” approach to research. We draw on insights from postcolonial theory to offer some provocations about the methodological and conceptual claims made by post-qualitative inquiry. The article considers how post-qualitative inquiry opens up possibilities for post-humanist social research. But, our critical reading of these “new” approaches argues that such research needs to attend to political and historical relations of social power, both in the worlds it constitutes and in the processes of its knowledge production. Without explicit attention to power and history, the (non)representational logics of post-qualitative inquiry risk operating less as “new” mechanisms for generative and subversive post-humanist research and more as processes of closure and erasure: closed-off from the worlds and people being researched.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-394
Number of pages11
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number5
Early online date19 Oct 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

Provisional acceptance date added, based on publication information


  • methodology
  • politics
  • post-qualitative inquiry
  • postcolonial theory
  • qualitative research


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