Objects of Study
Often left unspecified and mostly assumed or taken for granted, an object of study is one of the most fundamental technologies of any investigative process. Drawing from the work of Jorge Gonzalez, we approach an object of study as a socially constructed research tool that works best when explicit, transparent, and strategic. A comprehensive object of study should organize at least nine components: Title, Area of Interest, Topic, Research Question, Practical Problem, Research Problem, Techniques, Information Produced, and Glossary. The complete object of study should manage a number of obligations required of any investigation. Thus, an object of study frames a research question, articulates a claim, formulates co-generated information, facilitates techniques to co-produce knowledge, and proposes a system(s) of information. A successful object of study manages the epistemological, theoretical, and methodological contributions of the research.
A collectively articulated object of study should be treated as emergent, evolving with greater strategic focus and clarity through the dynamic interaction of a community of struggle organizing itself into an emergent research collective. An object of study is less likely to objectify a community of struggle when it is collectively generated through convivial processes. In a convivial approach, we insist that an object of study should be collectively determined and that its articulation should reflect the specific interests of a community struggle.