Diffractively Watching Queer Eye: difficult knowledge through critical posthumanism and neoliberalism

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    Utilising a method of “diffractive watching” of the first of the 2018 series Queer Eye (Netflix) this article explores how qualitative methods can respond to different approaches to research brought to the forefront through philosophies of posthumanism and new materialism, whilst still understanding how these operate with neoliberal structures and discourses. Using Lather’s (2007) concept of “difficult knowledge”, the article suggests that posthumanism and neoliberalism might be read diffractively through one another, despite their potentially contradictory value structures of individuality vs. multiplicity, and individual agency vs. emergence. The supposed contradictions in the research are drawn through different diffractive prepositions, to demonstrate the insights offered by embracing complexity and avoiding representational readings of texts. This article, therefore, contributes an original methodological approach to textual analysis, as well as an original theoretical negotiation of the ways in which we can extend neoliberal and posthuman critique by diffractively reading them through one another.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInterconnections: Journal of Posthumanism
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 30 Nov 2022


    • Difficult knowledge
    • diffractive methodology
    • Queer Eye
    • critical posthumanism
    • neoliberalism
    • makeover television


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