Methodological intimacies and the figure of the twins

Florence Chiew, Ashley Barnwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

In mythology twins represent both dualism and entanglement. Saturated with archetypal meaning, the figure of the twins unsettles divisions between nature and culture and – in its various incarnations as the double, doppelganger, shadow, or fetch – it troubles the notion of a unique, bounded self. This article draws on the indivisible intimacy of twins to examine the anxieties of influence and competition that disrupt claims within the ontological turn about theoretical and methodological innovation. The curious phenomenon of ‘twinning’, we argue, captures a sense of the dangerous intimacy that is operative not only at the level of empirical research on twins but also at the level of intellectual work itself where novelty is often cast in terms of breaking away from imitation to forge an identity that is original and singular. To unpack the burden of competition and originality that underpins concerns about methodological intimacy, we trace a path from ancient mythologies to foundational research in twinship. In exploring the tension between hardwired dis/similarity and entanglement through the potent figure of the twins, this article considers how we might address methodological questions about self-identity and intimacy within the ontological turn.
LanguageEnglish
Pages467-480
Number of pages14
JournalSociological Review
Volume67
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Fingerprint

intimacy
mythology
intellectual work
imitation
empirical research
anxiety
innovation

Keywords

  • affect
  • competition
  • entanglement
  • intimacy
  • methodology
  • nature-nurture
  • ontology
  • twins

Cite this

Chiew, Florence ; Barnwell, Ashley. / Methodological intimacies and the figure of the twins. In: Sociological Review. 2019 ; Vol. 67, No. 2. pp. 467-480.
@article{38c05a93fc9c49118c6a0279c05c3418,
title = "Methodological intimacies and the figure of the twins",
abstract = "In mythology twins represent both dualism and entanglement. Saturated with archetypal meaning, the figure of the twins unsettles divisions between nature and culture and – in its various incarnations as the double, doppelganger, shadow, or fetch – it troubles the notion of a unique, bounded self. This article draws on the indivisible intimacy of twins to examine the anxieties of influence and competition that disrupt claims within the ontological turn about theoretical and methodological innovation. The curious phenomenon of ‘twinning’, we argue, captures a sense of the dangerous intimacy that is operative not only at the level of empirical research on twins but also at the level of intellectual work itself where novelty is often cast in terms of breaking away from imitation to forge an identity that is original and singular. To unpack the burden of competition and originality that underpins concerns about methodological intimacy, we trace a path from ancient mythologies to foundational research in twinship. In exploring the tension between hardwired dis/similarity and entanglement through the potent figure of the twins, this article considers how we might address methodological questions about self-identity and intimacy within the ontological turn.",
keywords = "affect, competition, entanglement, intimacy, methodology, nature-nurture, ontology, twins",
author = "Florence Chiew and Ashley Barnwell",
year = "2019",
month = "3",
doi = "10.1177/0038026119831175",
language = "English",
volume = "67",
pages = "467--480",
journal = "Sociological Review",
issn = "0038-0261",
publisher = "Wiley-Blackwell, Wiley",
number = "2",

}

Methodological intimacies and the figure of the twins. / Chiew, Florence; Barnwell, Ashley.

In: Sociological Review, Vol. 67, No. 2, 03.2019, p. 467-480.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Methodological intimacies and the figure of the twins

AU - Chiew, Florence

AU - Barnwell, Ashley

PY - 2019/3

Y1 - 2019/3

N2 - In mythology twins represent both dualism and entanglement. Saturated with archetypal meaning, the figure of the twins unsettles divisions between nature and culture and – in its various incarnations as the double, doppelganger, shadow, or fetch – it troubles the notion of a unique, bounded self. This article draws on the indivisible intimacy of twins to examine the anxieties of influence and competition that disrupt claims within the ontological turn about theoretical and methodological innovation. The curious phenomenon of ‘twinning’, we argue, captures a sense of the dangerous intimacy that is operative not only at the level of empirical research on twins but also at the level of intellectual work itself where novelty is often cast in terms of breaking away from imitation to forge an identity that is original and singular. To unpack the burden of competition and originality that underpins concerns about methodological intimacy, we trace a path from ancient mythologies to foundational research in twinship. In exploring the tension between hardwired dis/similarity and entanglement through the potent figure of the twins, this article considers how we might address methodological questions about self-identity and intimacy within the ontological turn.

AB - In mythology twins represent both dualism and entanglement. Saturated with archetypal meaning, the figure of the twins unsettles divisions between nature and culture and – in its various incarnations as the double, doppelganger, shadow, or fetch – it troubles the notion of a unique, bounded self. This article draws on the indivisible intimacy of twins to examine the anxieties of influence and competition that disrupt claims within the ontological turn about theoretical and methodological innovation. The curious phenomenon of ‘twinning’, we argue, captures a sense of the dangerous intimacy that is operative not only at the level of empirical research on twins but also at the level of intellectual work itself where novelty is often cast in terms of breaking away from imitation to forge an identity that is original and singular. To unpack the burden of competition and originality that underpins concerns about methodological intimacy, we trace a path from ancient mythologies to foundational research in twinship. In exploring the tension between hardwired dis/similarity and entanglement through the potent figure of the twins, this article considers how we might address methodological questions about self-identity and intimacy within the ontological turn.

KW - affect

KW - competition

KW - entanglement

KW - intimacy

KW - methodology

KW - nature-nurture

KW - ontology

KW - twins

U2 - 10.1177/0038026119831175

DO - 10.1177/0038026119831175

M3 - Article

VL - 67

SP - 467

EP - 480

JO - Sociological Review

T2 - Sociological Review

JF - Sociological Review

SN - 0038-0261

IS - 2

ER -