Unbecoming Claims: Pedagogies of Refusal in Qualitative Research

Eve Tuck, K. Wayne Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article discusses the role of refusal in the analysis and communication of qualitative data, that is, the role of refusal in the work of making claims. Refusal is not just a no, but a generative stance, situated in a critical understanding of settler colonialism and its regimes of representation. Refusals are needed to counter narratives and images arising (becoming-claims) in social science research that diminish personhood or sovereignty, or rehumiliate when circulated. Refusal, in this article, refers to a stance or an approach to analyzing data within a matrix of commitments, histories, allegiances, and resonances that inform what can be known within settler colonial research frames, and what must be kept out of reach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-818
Number of pages8
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jul 2014


  • coding
  • knowledge territories
  • making claims
  • refusal
  • settler colonialism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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