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Writing in qualitative research is best understood not as a representation, but as play. We base this on the work of Wolfgang Iser, who demonstrates the place of play in the production and, above all, in the reading of literary texts. Literary texts are an event and include the unfamiliar. The reader will not decode the text, but will perceive a discrepancy with his or her expectations and will actively seek to produce meaning and update it during the reading. The text is a performance and the reader tries to understand how it is constituted, deriving aesthetic pleasure from it. Academic texts should consider how to create such “performative” effects on their readers.


  • qualitative writing
  • Wolfgang Iser
  • text as play
  • aesthetic experience
  • performance
Filipe Alves de Freitas
Carlos Magno Camargos Mendonça
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