R-Words: Refusing Research

Tuck, E. and K.W. Yang. (2014b). ‘R-Words: Refusing Research’ in D. Paris and M. T. Winn (Eds.) Humanizing Research: Decolonizing Qualitative Inquiry with youth and Communities. Thousand Oakes, CA: Sage Publications.

In this paper, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang develop their three ‘axioms’ or guidelines for refusal, which are briefly mentioned in Tuck in Yang (2014a). The authors suggest that refusals are conducted in three parts: 1) first a research participant refuses to engage in a particular conversation; 2) a researcher agrees to also refuse; and 3) as a result, Indigenous sovereignty over a particular knowledge claim is maintained. After doing so, the chapter examines what it means to engage with ethnographic refusals ‘generatively’, as per Simpson (2007). They suggest that all refusals are generative because they redirect the focus of research towards processes of power, thus decentering narratives of damage or destruction. Doing so sets limits to what issues are known by, and therefore responded to, through a logic of settler colonialism.

Editor’s note: This is an amazing text.

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