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Fucking law (a new methodological movement)

Victoria Brooks (University of Westminster, London, UK)

Journal of Organizational Ethnography

ISSN: 2046-6749

Article publication date: 3 April 2018




The purpose of this paper is to set the groundwork for a new methodological movement. The author claims that methodological strategies must take as their object the laws with found sexual identity, or rather should be “fucking with” law by creatively confronting, occupying and agitating limiting ethical frameworks that control access to the field. The movement is ethnographic, since it finds research ethics and “straight” academic space to be where these rules are the most harmful in limiting access to the field, for female researchers, in particular.


The approach (but also to some extent the target) is on Deleuzian and post-Deleuzian’s philosophy, whose theoretical leaps have sought to shift and cause slippage in laws of sexual identity. However, when these laws are tested by researchers proposing to access the field, specifically ethnographically and autoethnographically, it is clear they have not “slipped” at all. This is clear through the questions raised by ethics committees. Fucking law, therefore, becomes a methodological movement intimately connecting ethical agendas and sex as an encounter in the field.


The author claims that the methodological movement of “fucking” law captures, or at least attempts to capture, the slipperiness of the body, the encounter, the research project and sex itself. The movement, “fucking law”, is essential in agitating and occupying the limiting institutional research agendas and their ethical frameworks.

Practical implications

The implications of “fucking law” will be necessarily unpredictable, but the main practical and connected social implication is questioning as to why more women are not practically questioning arguably one of the biggest questions: the ethics of sexuality. Fucking law argues for the questioning of these laws with bodies, and experimenting with philosophies which underpin and create institutional ethical rules.


This is the first work of its kind by a female autoethnographer challenging the ethics of sexuality, arising from a participatory field project. It also evaluates and confronts the ethics of the field as a whole: from the researcher herself, to her academic environment and sexual life, to the field itself and the writing up of the project.



Brooks, V. (2018), "Fucking law (a new methodological movement)", Journal of Organizational Ethnography, Vol. 7 No. 1, pp. 31-43.



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