Mixed methods, materialism and the micropolitics of the research-assemblage

Nick J. Fox, Pam Alldred

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Citations (Scopus)


We assess the potential for mixing social research methods, based upon a materialist and micropolitical analysis of the research-assemblage and of what individual research techniques and methods do in practice. Applying a DeleuzoGuattarian toolkit of assemblages, affects and capacities, we document what happens when research methods and techniques interact with the events they wish to study. Micropolitically, many of these techniques and methods have unintended effects of specifying and aggregating events, with the consequently that the knowledge produced by social inquiry is invested with these specifications and aggregations. We argue that rather than abandoning these social research tools, we may use the micropolitical analysis to assess precisely how each method affects knowledge production, and engineer the research designs we use accordingly. This forms the justification for mixing methods that are highly aggregative or specifying with those that are less so, effectively rehabilitating methods that have often been rejected by social researchers, including surveys and experiments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-204
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number2
Early online date5 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2018
Externally publishedYes


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