This paper explores poststructural tools as a particularly helpful ontological stance in advancing the concerns of marginalized groups in educational research. Although largely academic in nature, poststructuralism has had real and tangible effects as it interrogates everyday binaries, categories and hierarchies that oppress so many. This paper draws on the experiences of two separate studies of teacher identity in Ireland to explore how poststructural approaches to methodology allow for new understandings of teacher identity formation. The first study focuses on the daily lived experiences of 11 Irish male primary school teachers. The second study looks at the increasing neoliberal tone of Irish education and the potential implications for teacher identity. Both studies are united by their interest in the relationship between self and other. Specific emphasis is placed on the following critical concerns: difference and how it is understood in academic realms; the social nature of language, and the importance of reflexivity in the research process. Two key questions are explored. First, how do we produce research that goes beyond the experiences of the researched? Second, is there value in moving beyond the reality-rhetoric binary? This paper intends to launch a fresh conversation on ontology within the current educational climate.