Diffracting Enfolding Futures: Critical Inquiry in Quantitative Educational Research

Ezekiel Juma Dixon-Roman


Digital technologies and data have become ubiquitous in social life yet a paradigmatic rift remains between critical inquiry and quantitative educational research. This article demonstrates an alternative ontological and epistemological approach to critical inquiry with quantitative methods. By building on new materialists thought, the critical possibilities of quantification are reconsidered via a diffractive methodology. This study demonstrates an alternative approach to analyzing the multiplicity of “difference” in parenting practices. Data are diffractively analyzed demonstrating how parenting practices are a result of myriad forces that cannot be reduced to pathology or deficiency but rather convey the inheritance of constraining and disenabling sociocultural and historical conditions. Concluding remarks suggests the enfolding futures of data analytics and critical inquiry in educational research.


New Materialisms; Quantitative Inquiry; Social Reproduction; Parenting Practices; Assemblages; Diffraction

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ISSN 1920-4175 Critical Education