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date: 06 December 2022

Archives and Qualitative Research in Education (from Foucault and Bourdieu’s Approaches)locked

Archives and Qualitative Research in Education (from Foucault and Bourdieu’s Approaches)locked

  • Dora Marín-Diaz, Dora Marín-DiazUniversidad Pedagógica Nacional-UPN (Colombia)
  • Flávia SchillingFlávia SchillingUniversidade de São Paulo-USP
  •  and Julio Groppa AquinoJulio Groppa AquinoUniversidade de São Paulo-USP


This article focuses on the proposal of archival research in qualitative educational research. Based on the assumption that, in this context, different paths are available to the researcher, the question of how to select relevant sources in order to provide singular approaches to the issues at stake arises. More specifically, when conducting qualitative research in education how can the archives be navigated? To that end, the article begins with the notion of sociological imagination drawn from the work of Charles Wright Mills, in conjunction with Pierre Bourdieu’s reflexive sociology; for the latter, the construction of the object of investigation was based on a system of objective relations. Next, the archaegenealogical perspective of Michel Foucault is examined; for him the archive is the instance that governs the emergence of discourses.

In both cases, the goal is for the researcher to glean certain insights from the surface of what is said, critically describing the functioning of discourse around the problem investigated according to its dispersion among different practices, which in turn are responsible for giving form to the objects to which the researcher dedicates himself.

Rather than a methodology per se, the notion of the archive defended here, without any prescriptive intention, describes a specific way of conducting qualitative investigation marked by originality and critical accuracy.


  • Research and Assessment Methods
  • Educational Theories and Philosophies
  • Education and Society

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