Methodological Essay in Qualitative Research in Nursing: Foucault, Benjamin, and ethical-aesthetic effects in academic writing

  • Thaís Maranhão
  • Maria Henriqueta Luce Kruse
Keywords: Essay; Nursing; Foucault; Benjamin; Academic writing


Abstract. Reflective essay on the theoretical-methodological possibility of qualitative research in the area of Nursing that proposes to articulate philosophical and scientific discourses, with the intention of producing a possible theoretical-methodological path for an academic doctorate study. Influenced by readings in Michel Foucault and Walter Benjamin, in addition to researchers of his works, such as Rosa Fischer and Jorge do Ó - among others, we sought to establish possible relationships between research perspectives in the humanities and health sciences, more specifically in nursing. Foucault, throughout his books and articles, sought to modify both the way certain truths were apprehended by himself and his contemporaries, as "to know to what extent the work of thinking his own history can free the thought of what he thinks silently, and allow him to think differently "(Foucault, 1984, p. 14). Thus, when we present the ethical question, the doors of a transforming writing of the subject are opened. A subject who knows, who thinks, and who, in writing, thinks and constitutes himself as subject, at the same time that constitutes the universe that surrounds him. Aesthetic choice is concerned not so much with meaning, but mainly with its effects. Effects that go beyond reason, this incessant search of scientific rationality. Thus, from an aesthetic perspective we could go beyond the analysis of objects, relating them to individuals and to life, one of Foucault's concerns. Why circumscribe the aesthetic experience to art? "Could not everyone's life be transformed into a work of art?" (Foucault, 2013, p.306). In our understanding, the ethical-aesthetic vector appears in the academic writing as the writer chooses each one of the words used, releasing the thought, wishing that in writing " to change what you think entirely and to find yourself at the end of it quite different from what you were at the beginning"(Foucault, 2010, p.289). In this sense, in proposing an essay on possibilities of academic research, based on an ethical-aesthetic perspective of academic writing, in which the researcher subject allows himself to think differently, we see a relation with the nomadic thinking perspective, insofar as creates new possibilities, deterritorializes the researchers of its bases, which in the area of Nursing, is hegemonically housed in the field of positivist and predictive thinking. In this direction, we propose a writing-mosaic, willing to cross the boundaries between what would be scientific and what would be philosophical, taking advantage of fragments of nursing science, sticking them together to fragments of "season" type thoughts, so that we can observe the different elements of a given object, in its multiple possibilities of analysis. We imagine that this type of writing has an approximation with the nomadic thought, when creating escape lines in relation to a certain object considered as exact. Finally, we could even imagine that such methodological exercise constitutes an exercise of possibility of existence in academic life.