Methodological Matters: The Becoming of Data About Sexuality at School

  • Louisa Allen
Part of the Queer Studies and Education book series (QSTED)


What ‘newness’ does a new materialist engagement with photos of ‘nothing’ produce for thinking about images as data in research about sexuality at school? Unusually, this chapter takes as its focus photos of what appear to be nothing. These indecipherable photos were captured by student photo-diarists as part of research into the Sexual Cultures of Schooling. Traditionally, these photos would not constitute data because they contain no identifiable people or objects, are blurry, and were classified by photo-diarists as ‘mistakes’. This chapter revisits these images drawing on concepts of onto-epistemology, intra-activity, and agential realism to undo and unknow them. The chapter argues that new materialism challenges the nature of what counts as data about sexuality at school and thereby the ontology of sexuality itself.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Louisa Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Education and Social WorkUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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