Various philosophical assumptions on ontology (being), epistemology (knowing), and axiology (doing) make particular paradigms thinkable. In this chapter, paradigmatic assumptions within the ontological turn are discussed in relation to post qualitative inquiry practices. I discuss various aspects of paradigms (e.g., the subject, language, discourse, reality, truth, knowledge, identity, agency) and how those shape practices of inquiry. This chapter is an invitation to think of paradigms not as a safety net or fixed category that one has to belong to with allegiance. In other words, “choosing” a paradigm (if one does that) does not mean that research will follow neatly in a linear order. What happens when we don’t think of paradigms as neat, tidy boxes or things that we need to fit into? What happens when we think of relations between or among paradigms? Or diffractively working the tensions between paradigms? What gets produced for the world? For our inquiries? Throughout the chapter, transcripts from conversations with students are presented as interlude(ing) insights. I share questions and provocations from my learning-with students regarding paradigmatic assumptions of paradigms and how the tensions between paradigms can be a productive space and perhaps even produce new ways of thinking, knowing, and doing inquiry.


Candace R. Kuby