Select Page

This TWO pages paper requires to provide a summary of ONE WHOLE article (9 pages), and an analysis/response of the article on its own. I hope this paper will be comprehensive, concise and coherent . And it is better to have some critical thinking in response part. Thank you !

Unformatted Attachment Preview

Don't use plagiarized sources. Get Your Custom Essay on
Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies of Refusal in Qualitative Research
Just from $10/Page
Order Essay

Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies of Refusal in Qualitative Research
Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang
Qualitative Inquiry 2014 20: 811 originally published online 16 May 2014
DOI: 10.1177/1077800414530265
The online version of this article can be found at:
Published by:
Additional services and information for Qualitative Inquiry can be found at:
Email Alerts:
>> Version of Record – Jun 2, 2014
OnlineFirst Version of Record – May 16, 2014
What is This?
Downloaded from by guest on June 3, 2014
QIXXXX10.1177/1077800414530265Qualitative InquiryTuck and Yang
Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies
of Refusal in Qualitative Research
Qualitative Inquiry
2014, Vol. 20(6) 811­–818
© The Author(s) 2014
Reprints and permissions:
DOI: 10.1177/1077800414530265
Eve Tuck1 and K. Wayne Yang2
This article discusses the role of refusal in the analysis and communication of qualitative data, that is, the role of refusal in
the work of making claims. Refusal is not just a no, but a generative stance, situated in a critical understanding of settler
colonialism and its regimes of representation. Refusals are needed to counter narratives and images arising (becomingclaims) in social science research that diminish personhood or sovereignty, or rehumiliate when circulated. Refusal, in
this article, refers to a stance or an approach to analyzing data within a matrix of commitments, histories, allegiances, and
resonances that inform what can be known within settler colonial research frames, and what must be kept out of reach.
settler colonialism, refusal, coding, making claims, knowledge territories
The fundamental thesis of the anthropologist is that people are
objects for observation, people are then considered objects for
experimentation, for manipulation, and for eventual extinction.
The anthropologist thus furnishes the justification for treating
Indian people like so many chessmen available for anyone to
play with.
—Vine Deloria (1988), Custer Died for Your Sins
To act on the desire to be the opposite, the desire not to
collaborate, is to object.
—Fred Moten (2003), “Resistance of the Object” in
In the Break (p. 239)
Speak to any computer programmer, and she will tell you
that coding is an art form, a glimpse into the systematizing
of relationships that form the deep structure for the world
that programmer is creating—code is the language that
gives expression to what is felt by the programmer. Yet we
observe a tendency in social science to reduce coding to a
mechanical process (St. Pierre & Pillow, 2000)—an
increasingly quantitative, increasingly positivist approach
that masks the power relationships about who comes to
know whom in the creation of knowledge. More importantly, coding, in the guise of objective science, expands
the project of settler colonial knowledge production—
inquiry as invasion is built into the normalized operations
of the researcher. Coding, once it begins, has already surrendered to a theory of knowledge. We ask, what is the
code that lies beneath the code?
In this article, we theorize refusal to settler colonialism—
the code beneath the code. This article begins with a recognition that some communities—particularly Indigenous,
ghettoized, and Orientalized communities—are over-coded,
that is, simultaneously hyper-surveilled and invisibilized/
made invisible by the state, by police, and by social science
research (Tuck & Yang, 2014; see also Kelley, 1997; Said,
1978; Smith, 1999). In these communities, research can be
a dirty word (Smith, 1999) and though people have been
over-studied, the promised benefits of participating in social
science research have been slow to accumulate (Tuck,
2009). Our emphasis here is how we have taught refusal to
ourselves and to our students.
This article unfolds in two sections. We start with a discussion of refusal as an analytic practice that addresses
forms of inquiry as invasion. And because we cannot, will
not, share certain accounts, we sometimes trace the perimeter of the refusal; other times, we use examples from art and
literature to illustrate what we mean. We share some examples that we have used in our teaching to inform a critical
response to the proliferation of damage-centered studies,
rescue research, and pain tourism. The second section details
State University of New York at New Paltz, USA
University of California–San Diego, La Jolla, USA
Corresponding Author:
K. Wayne Yang, University of California–San Diego, Social Sciences Bldg.
Room 222, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA.
Email: [email protected]
Downloaded from by guest on June 3, 2014
Qualitative Inquiry 20(6)
the practices and performativities of refusal, from our own
work and works by other qualitative researchers.
Refusal as Analytic Practice
The regulatory ethical frames that now dominate the conversation about ethics in academe are only a recent provision, and they cannot do enough to ensure that social science
research is deeply ethical, meaningful, or useful for the
individual or community being researched (Tuck &
Guishard, 2013). The stories that are considered most compelling, considered most authentic in social science research
are stories of pain and humiliation. Reporting on that pain
with detailed qualitative data and in people’s “real voices”
is supposed to yield needed material or political resources;
this is the prominent but unreliable theory of change in the
academy. However, settler colonialism, other colonial configurations, White supremacy, heteropatriarchy, and the
pursuit of wealth by some at the expense of others have
indeed caused pain in the lives of real people, which
deserves scrutiny and exposure.
As we discuss in this article, analytic practices of refusal
provide ways to negotiate how we as social science
researchers can learn from experiences of dispossessed
peoples—often painful, but also wise, full of desire and
dissent—without serving up pain stories on a silver platter
for the settler colonial academy, which hungers so ravenously for them. Analytic practices of refusal involve an
active resistance to trading in pain and humiliation, and
supply a rationale for blocking the settler colonial gaze that
wants those stories. Refusal can comprise a resistance to
making someone or something the subject of research; it is
a form of objectless analysis, an analytic practice with
nothing and no one to code. Analytic practices of refusal
can help researchers and the people who prepare researchers to avoid building our/their careers upon the pain of others. As we describe in this article, refusal is a generative
stance, not just a “no,” but a starting place for other qualitative analyses and interpretations of data. Refusing the colonizing code of research is an analysis that must come after,
before, and beyond coding. It must precede, exceed, and
intercede upon settler colonial knowledge production.
Settler Colonialism as the Code Beneath the
Code: Inquiry as Invasion
Code is a word rarely interrogated in qualitative research
outside of a few technical definitions. A code is a cipher, a
system of signifiers that make words meaningful. To codify
is to manage, to arrange in an order that is meaningful to the
coder. Coding is something we do to objects. Codes stand in
for objectified living things. Codes become objects themselves, to be treated objectively, in the way that the living
things would not allow. Codes are not meant to object. After
coding, the important decisions have already been made.
Observations, when encoded, are governed by the concealed language of the code—what is meaningful derives
from the code, not from what is observed. To refuse the
colonizing code requires deconstructing power, not objective cataloging of observations. Indeed, “objectivity” is
code for power. From a legal standpoint, code refers to rules
and laws that comprise settler sovereignty—for example,
the Black codes that restricted the movement, education,
and personhood of Black people in the North and the South
under slavery and then under Jim Crow. Settler codes
express the putative right of the settler to know and thus to
govern all the people, land, flora, fauna, customs, cultures,
sexualities in his seized territory. To refuse settler sovereignty is to refuse the settler’s unquestioned right to know,
and to resist the agenda to expand the knowledge territory
of the settler colonial nation.
Despite the almost ritualistic importance given to coding in the training of novice researchers, rarely examined is
the code beneath the code. Who gets to know? Who gets
known? Where is knowledge kept, and kept legitimated?
What knowledge is desirable? Who profits? Who loses/
pays/gives something away? Who is coerced, empowered,
appointed to give away knowledge? These are the analytic
questions that drive beyond coding. In a sense, these are
not open-ended questions, but ones that have already been
answered for us. The academic codes that govern research,
human subject protocols, and publishing already territorialize knowledge as property and researchers as claimstakers. Academic codes decide what stories are civilized
(intellectual property) and what stories are natural, wild,
and thus claimable under the doctrine of discovery. Human
subject protocols establish that individuals must be protected, but not communities. Individuals are empowered to
give away the community’s stories. Individuals may be
compensated, but only lightly, with a small fee, a gift certificate to a university bookstore, a thank you note, a free
meal, a string of beads.
Settler colonial studies seek to understand the particular
features of settler colonialism, and how its shapes and contours of domination (like that in the United States, the context from which we write but also Canada, New Zealand,
Israel, Chinese Tibet, and Australia) differ from other forms
of coloniality. Invasion is a structure, not (just) an event in
time (Wolfe, 1999). In settler colonial contexts, land is the
ultimate pursuit: Settlers arrive in a new (to them) place and
claim it as theirs. They destroy and then later erase (via
assimilation or cultural strangling) Indigenous peoples, and
use weapons and policy to extinguish their/our claims to
land. Settlement requires the labor of chattel slaves and
guest workers, who must be kept landless and estranged
from their homelands. The settlers locate themselves at the
top and at the center of all typologies—as simultaneously
most superior and most normal. Because land is the
Downloaded from by guest on June 3, 2014
Tuck and Yang
ultimate pursuit, settler colonialism involves a daedal
arrangement of justifications and unhistories to deny genocide and brutality. Settler colonialism must cover its tracks,
and does so by making its structuring natural, inevitable,
invisible, and immutable (Tuck & Yang, 2012; Veracini,
Inquiry as invasion is a result of the imperative to produce settler colonial knowledge and to produce it for the
academy. This invasion imperative is often disguised in
universalist terms of producing “objective knowledge” for
“the public.” It is a thin disguise, as most research rhetoric
waxes the poetics of empire: to discover, to chart new terrain, to seek new frontiers, to explore, and so on. The
academy’s unrelenting need to produce “original research”
is what makes the inquiry an invading structure, not an
event. Social science hunts for new objects of study, and
its favored reaping grounds are Native, urban, poor, and
Othered communities.
In related writing, we presented three axioms of social
science research that ground our analysis of the need for
refusal to inquiry as invasion. The axioms are as follows:
(I) The subaltern can speak, but is only invited to speak her/our
pain. Drawing from bell hooks’ (1990) observation that the
academy fetishizes stories of the violated, we note that what
passes for subaltern “voice” in research is a commodified pain
narrative: “No need to hear your voice. Only tell me about your
pain. I want to know your story.” (p. 343)
(II) There are some forms of knowledge that the academy
doesn’t deserve. This axiom is the crux of refusal. The
university is not universal; rather, it is a colonial collector of
knowledge as another form of territory. There are stories and
experiences that already have their own place, and placing
them in the academy is removal, not respect.
(III) Research may not be the intervention that is needed. This
axiom challenges the latent theory of change that research—
more academic knowing—will somehow innately contribute to
the improvement of tribes, communities, youth, schools, etc.
All three axioms gesture toward what lives beyond the
paradigm of research—voice, knowledge, interventions—
and ought to be kept out of reach. As researchers, when we
overhear, uncover, are entrusted with narratives that we
know will sell, do we stop the sale?
How to See Refusal (and How to Not Get
Disappointed About Refusal)
Teaching the analytic practice of refusal is unsettling both
because students may first consider refusal to be undesirable, as failure, and also because it can feel like explaining
refusal requires exposing that which ought not to be
exposed. In our classrooms, we turn toward images and
narratives in art and literature that already resist becoming
data, that resist domestication into settler stories.
For example, the film Old Dog (Tseden, 2011) revolves
around solicitations for the sale of an old Tibetan mastiff
and an old Tibetan man’s refusals to sell.
Dog trader: Will you sell me your dog?
Akhu [herder]: Not selling. Not selling.

Dog trader: If you don’t sell him to me, someone might
steal him.
The film’s premise is loosely based on contemporary
events, that is, “a feverish appetite among China’s nouveau
riche for the mastiffs owned by Tibetan nomads, such that
recently a mastiff named Hong Dong sold in China for $1.5
million” (Shakya, 2011). Pema Tseden, hailed as “the first
Tibetan filmmaker,” has remained strategically silent on the
potential allegories embodied by his film, a strategy that
some have speculated aided the film in passing through
increased scrutiny by Chinese censorship committees (Lim,
2009). However, it takes little inference for students to see
the critiques of Chinese settler colonialism in Tibet. “Sell it
before someone steals it” is an ironic truism for Indigenous
people in settler nations where land, rituals, and even Native
identity are actively stolen and commodified. In this way,
students begin to see refusal as resistance to plunder.
Refusal also disputes the theories of change that tacitly
endorse settler modernity. “Their life is much better in the
mainland,” the dog trader offers as sympathetic rationale, to
which the elderly nomad replies, “Who’s to know?”
By engaging performative examples of refusal, such as
Old Dog and other texts we discuss later in this piece, our
discussions about research disrupt the assumed inevitability
of settler expansion, and the presumption of benefit that settler modernity may offer to Indigenous and urban and poor
communities which fuel many qualitative research projects
in these communities. In research methods courses across
the North American continent, the message the students
otherwise receive is to study something, anything, to learn
how to do research. But some objects of study are sexier,
that is, more fetishized, thirsted after, and surer to garner an
A or yield a publication. If you are going to do research, you
had better find something that is worth saying, and pain and
humiliation are worth saying.
Indigenous and Native researchers, researchers of color,
and/or queer researchers in academe are frequently pressured to mine their families, communities, and personal stories to become recast as academic data. The archive on pain
just grows and grows. Novice researchers are explicitly and
tacitly encouraged to go for low-hanging fruit, interview
your neighbors, your grandmother—but not everyone’s
grandmother promises to be interesting. Bring in personal
artifacts, family heirlooms/stories, private moments, and
Downloaded from by guest on June 3, 2014
Qualitative Inquiry 20(6)
hawk them. Ironically, these same novice researchers may
be caught in a choice between studying their own communities or waiting for someone else to do so, themselves even
becoming informants in someone’s study; to sell it before
someone steals it, as in the dog trader’s words.
Alongside the connotations we have already invoked,
“code” can also refer to a set of ethical commitments, such
as a code of medical ethics. Refusal is a code concerned with
not selling. It is the code of the object—the code of the dog
itself, the being that is made a “thing” by those who assume
the right to sell, buy, and own. In discussing the objectness
of Black persons, Moten (2003) opens his book with the truism, “The history of blackness is testament to the fact that
objects can and do resist” (p. 1). Such a perspective does not
try to reform the academy, to rescue research from itself (and
for itself), nor to see things “both ways.” The refusal stance
is an attribute of objecting objects, and it is a choice, a code
of ethics, a stance to be assumed, for refusing researchers.
Refusal is a stance in that it is resolute. It is the posture of an
object that will not be removed nor possessed.
Practicing Refusal: Studying to Object
[According to Tibetan tradition,] it is taboo to use dogs as a
commodity or to allow them to be bought and sold.
revealed as our findings, make us famous, put our children
through college, allow us to retire and be remembered where
we’re dead—might change the world for the better. Many of
those becoming-claims come out of the lived lives of real
people we have met along the way: their stories, their worries and desires, their sense of the way the world works. This
last part is too easy to disregard or forget.
Thus, refusal is not a code word for critical research,
socially engaged, or culturally sensitive research. It is not
the reflexive caveat, the hand-wringing, the flash of positional confession before proceeding as usual. Furthermore,
the turn toward humanizing the object into a subject—often
through the inclusion of people of color, women, youth, and
Native researchers—is important work, but not the same as
refusal. The goal of refusal is not for objects to become subjects in the academy, but contrarily, to object to the very processes of objectification/subjection, the making of possessors
and possessions, the alchemy of becoming-claims. When we
teach courses in qualitative methods or workshops in participatory action research, we think of teaching refusal not as
teaching novice researchers to seek an appropriate, nonproblematic object of study, but as an ethic of studying to
object. Rather than chasing aims of objectivity, we encourage researchers to take up a stance of objection, one that will
interrogate power and privilege, and trace the legacies and
enactments of settler colonialism in everyday life.
—Tsering Shakya (2011)
How to Read Refusal
One does not sell the land people walk on.
—Crazy Horse (September 23, 1875)
When we learn something from our data that may make a
contribution to the field, we call that something a claim. To
claim somethi …
Purchase answer to see full

Order your essay today and save 10% with the discount code ESSAYHSELP