Based on a recent inaugural lecture, this article presents a critical appreciation and analysis of the application of different research methodologies to selected social and educational research contexts. The analysis is set against the backdrop of an ontological question concerning the possibility of truth. Specifically, it seeks to explore the untenability of any notion of absolute truth in contemporary qualitative inquiry, and examine the corollary implications for determining the nature, role and status of research. It is argued that the ability to challenge convention offers both the possibility and productive capacity to unsettle dominant research methodologies, while also critiquing normative social and professional research practices. Utilising three contrasting methodological frameworks: Gadamerian hermeneutics; Foucauldian theory; and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory; the narrative follows a journey of personal development and shows how seemingly different and diverse theoretical perspectives can reveal critical new insights on contemporary social research issues and practices, cultures and communities.
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