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There are increasing calls to “position” the knowledge produced by the qualitative researcher, inviting him or her to be more reflexive (Harding 1991; Rose 1997). This “positionality” is presented as an ethical approach, protecting the researcher from the temptation to impose his or her own categories or forms of knowledge on the people he or she studies. Indeed, research should be a space, leaving all room for the voice of the research subjects (Nagar-Ron and Motzafi-Haller 2011; Spivak 1988). However, what about researchers who study things, not people? What kind of voice can be collected when we do not have subjects, but objects, as participants in the research? What ethical responsibility does the researcher have toward objects? Continuing Bruno Latour's interpretation of interobjectivity (1994), I propose that the “objective” researcher is not one who disregards the imperative of positionality and the invitation to let his or her participants express themselves. On the contrary, the objective researcher is one who gives voice to the objects, who seeks methods of expression that are specific to them, thus avoiding imposing his or her categories on the participants. This text sets out to highlight the fact that strategies already exist to give voice to objects, which can be used in qualitative research.


  • materiality
  • spokesperson
  • discourse
  • bifurcation of nature
  • organizational communication
  • CCO
Nicolas Bencherki
This is the latest publication of the author on cairn.
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