Methods we live by: Proceduralism, process, and pedagogy


This article contributes to ongoing conversations about how we relate to methods and the implications of the ‘methods turn’ for the different epistemic communities that comprise media studies. We argue that methods are increasingly valued as scientific capital and educational capital, leading to further formalisation of methodologies (or theoretical perspectives) as ordered and sequenced research methods. Although intended to make research more transparent and accessible, such formalisation obfuscates the research process when it hinges on the notion of methods as ‘ordered procedure’. Against this way of imagining and talking about methods, we draw on process theory, which provides a language for understanding research as improvisational and creative, and reconsider what it means to do research skilfully. Understanding methods as process opens up new ways to talk about and teach methods that connect to our inherent capacity for curiosity and to embodied sense-making practices – in other words, it allows for a reframing of research methods as ‘methods we live by’.

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Stevenson, Michael; Witschge, Tamara: Methods we live by: Proceduralism, process, and pedagogy. In: NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies, Jg. 9 (2020), Nr. 2, S. 117-138. DOI:
 author = {Stevenson, Michael and Witschge, Tamara},
 title = {Methods we live by: Proceduralism, process, and pedagogy},
 year = 2020,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 9,
 address = {Amsterdam},
 journal = {NECSUS_European Journal of Media Studies},
 number = 2,
 pages = {117--138},
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