Methodological Drag: Subversive Performances of Qualitative Methodologist and Pedagogical Practices


The authors, the only two qualitative research specialists in their college of education, discuss and analyze their performances in methodological drag. Drawing on Butler’s concepts of performativity and performance, methodological drag is a performance in which qualitative methodologists convincingly masquerade as situated within epistemological, theoretical, and methodological frameworks, even those that they may not situate themselves in personally or professionally. Depending on a particular power/discourse network and setting, methodologists perform the subject position differently. In this way, methodological drag as pedagogical performance becomes a strategy in which methodologists make themselves intelligible to themselves and others in various settings (e.g., teaching qualitative research classes, mentoring students, interacting with other faculty in committee meetings, and conducting their own research). In so doing, methodological drag enacts a strategic counter discourse to a stable conception of methodologist and, by extension, qualitative research pedagogy.

Publication Title

Qualitative Inquiry