The postmodern researcher as a naked deep-sea diver

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The talented @jaxbartram has been at it again! This one made me smile even more than most.

And I have just spent an evening trying to locate a reference that seems determined to slip through my fingers. But, I couldn’t let this tweet (and image) pass by without comment.

It is possible to undertake research with an open enquiring and creative mind unencumbered by the methodological paraphernalia that can tie you down.  Your purpose – as a researcher – is to explore every possibility, to follow what seems interesting and intriguing, and to work out what’s going on.  This task is made easier when you are free, light footed and able to follow which ever line of flight seems to point in the right direction. The ‘paradigm’ weighs you down with a list  ‘do this and don’t do that’.  To do good research, we don’t need method or paradigms.

‘If the purpose of educational research is to understand education, we don’t really need methods, all we need is good social theory, good intentions and deep hanging out.

Madison p49

The invitation then is to imagine yourself a deep-sea diver. A naked deep-sea diver. One who gets down there and gets on with it.  Deep hanging out and it doesn’t get much deeper than the coral reef.

I’d really like to find out whose metaphor this is but a comprehensive google search, followed up with a trawl through sage research methods online, accompanied by a physical search of the books on my shelves and I have found – nothing. 

Maybe I mis-remembered it, dreamt it or made it up!


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