Doing time and motion diffractively: academic life everywhere and all the time

Carol A. Taylor, Susanne Gannon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (SciVal)


This article offers a diffractive methodological intervention into workplace studies of academic life. In its engagement of a playful, performative research and writing practice, the article speaks back to technocratic organisational and sociological workplace ‘time and motion’ studies which centre on the human and rational, and presume a linear teleology of cause and effect. As a counterpoint, we deploy posthumanist new materialist research practices which refuse human-centric approaches and aim to give matter its due. As a means to analyse what comes out of our joint workspaces photo project we produce two ‘passes’ through data–two diffractive experiments which destabilise what normally counts as ‘findings’ and their academic presentation. The article deploys the motif of ‘starting somewhere else’ to signal both our intention to keep data animated, alive and interactive, and to utilise visual and written modes of seriality as enabling constraints which produce a more generative focus on the mundane, emergent, unforeseen, and happenstance in studies of daily working life.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)465-486
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education
Issue number6
Early online date15 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018


  • Diffraction
  • new material feminism
  • posthuman
  • time and motion
  • workplace

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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