Post-qualitative inquiry and the new materialist turn: implications for sport, health and physical culture research

Simone Fullagar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

124 Citations (SciVal)


In this article I examine the ‘turn to’ post-qualitative inquiry, new materialism and post-humanist theories to consider the challenges of, and implications for, doing research in sport, health and physical culture. The term ‘post-qualitative inquiry’ (PQI) indicates a decisive departure from the ethico-onto-epistemological assumptions that have informed the humanist interpretive tradition of qualitative research (St Pierre 2011). Moving beyond a theory/method divide, PQI draws its methodological inspiration from critical post-humanist debates concerned with how ‘matter’ is thought and constituted through entanglements of human and non-human bodies, affects, objects and practices. Such a shift reorients thinking around relational questions about the material-discursive forces coimplicated in what bodies can 'do' and how matter ‘acts’, rather than a concern with what ‘is’ a body or the agentic meaning of experience. I discuss how these new styles of thought reorient our onto-epistemological assumptions and theory-method approaches through engagement with PQI within (and beyond) sport, health and physical culture scholarship.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-257
JournalQualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health
Issue number2
Early online date8 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Physical Culture
  • inequalities
  • embodiment
  • new materialism
  • post-humanism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cultural Studies
  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science


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