Understanding Encounters in Relational Theories and Implications for Empirical Relational Research

Saturday, 21 July 2018: 15:15
Oral Presentation
Rebecca BUYS, Deakin University, Australia
This paper first explores the ways in which key relational theories conceptualise encounters. It questions how encounters can be understood through the theories’ conceptualisations of knowing (of oneself and The Other) and the operations of power. The exploration reveals on-going contestations around the concept of entities, and thus relationality itself. The methodological implications of this for empirical research is considerable. I argue engaging a deeply relational notion of encounter, informed by Karen Barad’s notion of intra-action, enables an understanding of entities which aids the development of a relational methodology that allows a more fluid, relational world to reveal itself. Specifically, informed by my research on the relationalities of activists campaigning against gender-based violence engaged with government processes in Australia, I explore the implications of relational feminist intersectional and decolonising methodologies, alongside Baradian thought, for the possible development of an intersectional relational research methodology.