Kip Jones, a pioneer in performative social science at Bournemouth University, has two substantial book chapters now available in new texts. Both texts move the practice of arts-led research forward substantially and will become valued resources for students and researchers for years to come.
The first chapter, “Performative Social Science,” in Jörg Matthes, C. S. Davis, & R. F. Potter (Eds.), The International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods (Wiley-Blackwell), rehearses the development of performative social science, or PSS, as a research approach and method. PSS has been developed over 10 years at Bournemouth University through publication, film, research, workshops, Masterclasses, and PhD studies. Jones explains that PSS is not simply ‘art for art’s sake’ instead of research. PSS is research and dissemination practices based in the philosophy of relational aesthetics and has much in common with social constructionism. The ‘audience’ or reader/viewer are key to PSS, as is the wider community.
This three-volume encyclopedia is touted as the most current authoritative single-source reference on communication methods. The editors state that they have invited the best scholars from all over the world to accomplish this. A draft of Jones’ chapter is now available HERE.
The second chapter, “Emotivity and Ephemera Research,” in Innovative Research Methodologies in Management: Volume I (Palgrave Macmillan), edited by Luiz Moutinho and Mladen Sokelem, provides an in-depth worked example of PSS. The chapter reports on a two-day experimental workshop in arts-led interviewing technique using ephemera to illicit life stories and then reporting narrative accounts back using creative means of presentation. The workshop took place at Bournemouth and participants were all university faculty members. A key to the process was in replicating what research participants may be feeling and going through when they share very personal stories with researchers. The exercise built a respect for this process by acknowledging that fact through the personal experiences and emotive connectivity of workshop participants.
The editors of this book on management were keen to include the chapter, stating that many who are attempting a PhD, particularly using a qualitative approach, spend little or no effort in finding, then learning, an appropriate method for their research question. The felt that the chapter would contribute substantially in this way to management studies. The chapter was originally published as “A report on an arts-led, emotive experiment in interviewing and storytelling” in The Qualitative Report, 20(2), 86-92 and is available HERE.
Examples like these substantiate the work being done not only by Jones, but by other members of the Centre for Qualitative Research (CQR) at Bournemouth University. Membership of CQR comes from across health and social sciences’ disciplines at BU as well as from a number of other BU faculties, This attraction attests to the universal appeal of qualitative methods and particularly arts-led ones, including performative social science, which are being developed through CQR.