Exploring provocation as a research method in the social sciences

Luciana Jane Pangrazio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


This paper explores provocation as an approach towards social science
research. While routinely used in natural science and arts research, this paper
argues provocation might enable the social science researcher to initiate
critical reflection amongst participants on issues that are often otherwise
overlooked, obscured or accepted as naturalised practice. By assuming
the role of provocateur, stimulator and/or agitator, the social science
researcher can interrupt the flow of everyday life in order to illuminate and
draw attention to complex social issues. Using research interventions that
embrace, rather than deny, the socially constructed nature of the research
process, provocation provides an alternative to largely non-obtrusive
methods favoured in much social science research. This paper concludes
by outlining the practical and methodological issues associated with this
approach – in particular the complicated ethics of provoking reflection on
topics that might not have otherwise come to the participant’s attention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-236
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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