What Is Critical Qualitative Inquiry?

Norman K. Denzin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Critical qualitative inquiry (CQI) serves as an instrument to reveal power and generate previously unthought possibilities for social change. CQI methodologies interrogate and disrupt taken-for-granted assumptions that reify oppressive structures, hegemonic power dynamics, and dominating discourses. Indigenous, critical race, critical feminist scholars, among others, in particular, have emphasized the ways in which power reproduces privilege, power, and oppression on systemic, institutional, and individual levels. The work of feminist scholars of color has especially interrogated the intersection and perpetuation of isms, including that of Arab American feminists, Asian American feminists, Black feminist scholars, Chicana feminists, and Native American feminists, to name a few. The themes and critical insights that emerged from constant comparison and reflexive journaling were then analyzed through the generation of a social spheres/power arenas map, which illustrated and served as a means to complicate the intersection of ‘social spheres’ and ‘power arenas’.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCritical Qualitative Inquiry
Subtitle of host publicationFoundations and Futures
EditorsGaile S Cannella, Michelle Salazar Pérez, Penny A Pasque
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9781315431178
ISBN (Print)9781629580111, 9781629580128
StatePublished - Mar 31 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Psychology


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