The Return of the Surreal: Towards a Poetic and Playful Sociology

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

This article argues that the time is ripe to reacquaint sociology and surrealism. Taking inspiration from surrealism’s emphasis on making the ordinary strange through bizarre, lively and sometimes haunting methods might result in a more poetic and playful sociology. The article looks at how this might be applied in practice through drawing on a variety of examples of social research that share some of the tenets of surrealism, not least the latter’s focus on social justice. This enables discussion of a number of methodological concerns stemming from feminist and post-structuralist thought, including the troubling of narrative coherency and the notion of ‘voice’. Infusing sociology with ‘a surrealist spirit’ requires opening up and moving away from rationality in ways that allow for the exploration of contradictions, irreverence, humour and paradox.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)148-164
JournalQualitative Sociology Revew
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date24 May 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 24 May 2019

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surrealism
sociology
humor
social research
social justice
rationality
narrative
time

Keywords

  • Arts-Based Methods
  • Critical Social Science
  • Feminism
  • Humor
  • Poetics
  • Research Methodology
  • Surrealism

Cite this

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The Return of the Surreal: Towards a Poetic and Playful Sociology. / Foster, Victoria.

In: Qualitative Sociology Revew, Vol. 15, No. 1, 24.05.2019, p. 148-164.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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