Graphic Interrogation in Psychosocial Research: Deleuze AND Comics AND Middle-aged Men

Chessum, Thierry Jacques Patrick (2015). Graphic Interrogation in Psychosocial Research: Deleuze AND Comics AND Middle-aged Men. PhD thesis The Open University.



The assemblage of comics, Deleuzian metaphysics and middle-aged men in the context of psychosocial research is an experiment in the sense that Deleuze advocates for the furtherance of thought. The works of Deleuze and Deleuze and Guattari can allow us, it is suggested, to bring together theoretical problems in comics theory with theoretical problems in psychosocial research and provide us with new insights as to how we might look at visual data qualitatively from participants who agreed to recount episodes of their relationships in graphic narrative form.

Both psychosocial qualitative research and comics theory are new and fast moving fields which offer scope for creative thinking. It is argued in this thesis that the ‘affective’ and ‘visual’ turns, which are having an important impact in the social sciences, corresponds to the expressive function of comics, specially in the autobiographical, memoir and confessional genre.

Having set the theoretical lens with the work of Deleuze and Guattari and some of their commentators, examples from commercially published works are examined in order to relate theory to empirical examination, prior to considering the work submitted by participants.

Lastly, interspersed throughout the text and together as an appendix, I offer my own visual reflections in the comics mode which I believe dialogue with topics in the text, whilst remaining separate activities. That is to say I consciously avoid text or comic being an illustration of one another.

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