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‘Becoming molecular girl’: transforming subjectivities in collaborative doctoral research studies as micro-politics in the academy

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In the context of Swedish reforms of postgraduate and doctoral education in a global knowledge economy, this article aims to theorise on the documented processes of doing collaborative analysis during elective graduate course-work on deconstructive methodologies in the social sciences, with 10 doctoral students over a period of seven months. I re-engage with the documentations of our collaborative processes six years later, to read and analyse them diffractively with Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s philosophy, and with feminist post-constructivist theories, such as Rosi Braidotti, Claire Colebrook, Elisabeth Grosz and Patti Lather. In the course-work, we actively aimed – by engaging in different collaborative strategies of deconstructive writing and talking, sharing and re-analysing each other’s research data and analyses – to resist “doing philosophy” as an independent, intellectual, disembodied and masculine-coded endeavour. This process made us aware of the tactile embodiment of collaborative deconstructive research strategies, and how they came to transform our subjectivities as researchers. I suggest the “molecular girl” as a metaphor for this transformation as researchers, and claim that the practices we developed constitute a “micro-politics” that contests contemporary transnational trends in knowledge economies, but which might also be understood to work in alignment with such trends.
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Keywords: Deleuze and Guattari; feminist postconstructionism; micro-politics; subjectivity

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Education, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: October 1, 2013

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