Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 20 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-led research', his main efforts have involved developing tools
from the arts and humanities for use by social scientists in research and its impact on a wider
public or a Perfomative Social Science.

Jones was Reader in Performative Social Science and Qualitative Research at
Bournemouth University for 15 years.
He is now a Visiting Scholar and and an independent author and scholar.

Kip has produced films and written many articles for academic journals and authored chapters
for books on topics such as masculinity, ageing and rurality, and older LGBT citizens.
Jones' most recent work involves working with Generation Z youth to tell their stories using
social media.
His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including Auto-fiction, biography
and auto-ethnography, and the use of tools from the arts in social science research
and dissemination are well-known.

Jones acted as Author and Executive Producer of
the award-winning short film, RUFUS STONE, funded by Research Councils UK.
The film is now available for free viewing on the Internet
and has been viewed by more than 14,000 people in 150 countries.

Areas of expertise
• Close relationships, culture and ethnicity
• Social psychology, sociology
• Ageing, self and identity
• Interpersonal processes, personality,
individual differences,
social networks, prejudice and stereotyping
• Sexuality and sexual orientation
• Creativity and the use of the
arts in Social Science

Media experience
His work has been reported widely
in the media, including:
BBC Radio 4,BBC TV news,Times
Higher Education, Sunday New
York Times, International
and The Independent.

Thursday 28 January 2021

Some Enchanted Evening

Sam was in one of his lighter moods. He had a drink or two upon arriving home so that helped.

I had planned a special dinner for us. We had watched Nigella prepare Veal Marsala on television and he seemed to show interest. He usually could care less about cooking programmes, but Nigella heaving her breasts in a chiffon blouse over a hot hob grabbed his attention. She taunted her viewers with the fact that, although veal isn’t very popular with the British, this recipe gives it a sense of foreign intrigue. She added that Marsala wine brings it the sexual frisson of a Sicilian wench crushing grapes between her toes. Sam was transfixed.

So Veal Marsala it was. And I could prepare it well ahead of time too. Minus the chiffon blouse of course.

Sam built a fire in the fireplace and mixed his favourite cocktails on his art deco mirrored bar. He normally had little to contribute to conversation, except when he was drinking. Then it was all about him. I would interject with “Oh, I saw Marjorie today” “Really, Janet?” but then he’d continue to rattle on, usually about his friends at the club.

We started our drinking session on the sofa in front of what was by then a blazing fire, our two large dogs on the rug in front of it.  He put on a Sam and Dave LP and his mood became even more agitated. I slipped in a Nat King Cole platter a bit later to calm his mood somewhat.

He had been drinking for several hours by now and was quite pissed. He was also quite amorous. Is that a word you still can use to describe a past-middle-age man groping his wife on a sofa?
We stumbled upstairs, Sam removing a piece of his clothing at each station, twirling it around his head and tossing it like a demented stripper. He literally fell into our bed on his back. I got in beside him and he immediately rolled over on top of me.  To say that what transpired next was routine would be being kind.
Then about halfway through, he stumbled out of the bed. “Jesus, Janet! I need a slash!” In a few minutes he returned from the ensuite and assumed his position until conclusion. At this point, any thrill, if there was any to begin with, had departed the bedroom.

I was up quite early the next morning. I let the dogs out to relieve themselves and began to tidy up the lounge. Sam had spilled a drink on the sofa and red wine on the rug, so cleaning potions were required. I went into the kitchen where the overcooked, uneaten Veal Marsala sat on the countertop. I threw it in the bin. I picked up the trail of Sam’s clothes from the night before and put them in the laundry basket.

Some enchanted evening at Sam and Janet’s.

Later, our gay son called and wanted to meet up with me for a coffee and a chat. He had recently come out to us and was now living what he called ‘a gay life’.

He and I met up at a trendy café; you know, flat whites made with soya milk.  We sat on highchairs at a small round table near a window.

“I know I said I’m gay, but I want you specially to know Mum” Justin continued, “I’m a bottom. Do you know what that means?”

“I think so Justin. Yes. It’s about your preferred sexual position, right?”

“Yes, Mum. But it’s also in a way a description of me and who I am”.

“Okay, Justin, I think I get it”.

What I wanted to say but couldn’t was, “Oh Justin don’t box yourself in so early in your young life. Your generation rejects so many of the binary choices we were forced to make in the past, why create this new one for yourself? Leave room for experimentation and exploration of other possibilities”.

And he would say, “Oh, Mum. How could you know anything about it?”

And I would reply, “Because, my son, I’ve been a bottom all of my life”.

Friday 15 January 2021

Authors from Seven Countries contribute to book Doing Performative Social Science

I am pleased to announce that Taylor & Francis will publish Doing Performative Social Science: Creativity in doing research and reaching communities” early in 2022. 

Pre-order now open.

The book’s Chapters will include contributions from three Americans, six Britons, three Canadians, three Danes, and one scholar each from Germany, Japan and  Turkey. The authors come from disciplines ranging from Psychology, Education, Music Therapy, Nutrition, Movement & Dance, Law, Theatre, Sexualities, Disability Studies, Geography, Media, Virtual Reality and Circus Performance.

Focuses include a wide range subjects, including Theatre, Opera, Musical instruments and interviewing, Teaching, Embodied learning, Curating exhibitions, Audience participation drama, Queer women’s theatre, Life story installations, Pakistanis in the UK through poetry, Interview with a river, Walking as method, Poetry and community action, and Auto-ethnography.

Performative Social Science (PSS) is currently gaining attention, even popularity, amongst academics who are particularly frustrated with PowerPoint and “Zoom". A wide range of the arts (e.g., photography, dance, drama, filmmaking, poetry, puppetry, knit-bombing, fiction, and more) expands—even replaces—shop-worn methods of research, dissemination efforts, and learning. Ideally, PSS projects can include forming collaborations with artists themselves and creating a sophisticated investigation, education and diffusion package. These efforts also often include engaging the wider community as co-creators of projects and outcomes.

The book will demonstrate how contributing authors have used the arts-led principles of Performative Social Science and its philosophy based in Relational Aesthetics in real world projects. PSS will be fully demonstrated through its pragmatic use, be it in research, dissemination, performance, exhibition, community action, publication, education, and so forth. PSS provides the overarching intellectual prowess, strategies and methodological and theoretical strengths to engage and unite scholars across disciplines and, in turn, connect researchers’ endeavours with artists, communities and stakeholders.

List of Contributors
Kip Jones, Editor
Alison Upshaw 
Alisha N Ali
Becky White  
Catherine Morley
Jenny Scott  
Jim Brooks
Lisa Goldberg & Megan Aston
Charlotte Svendler Nielsen
Stine Klein Degerbøl
Guenter Mey
Masayuki Okahara
Qulsom Fazil
Helen Johnson 
Sophie Edwards
Sonya Grace Turkman
Tim Buescher

Previous Writings on Performative Social Science

Friday 1 January 2021

French designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98

French designer Pierre Cardin dies aged 98

Pierre Cardin, who upended fashion styles in 1960s and 70s with futuristic looks, died in hospital near Paris just before the New Year. Pictured here is my French friend Patrick outside Espace Pierre Cardin in Paris where I first exhibited three art works (pictured) in a large group show. Patrick was instrumental in introducing me to the organiser of the show.
The story behind all that is more interesting than the paintings were. The tale includes a Rothschild and the Pretender to the French throne in the mix. Heady times and a lesson that I like to share with budding artists and filmmakers today: it's not just about seeing every painting ever painted or film made. It's about living your life so that you have something to make into art, a film, or write about. I am presently waiting for some publisher or series editor brave enough to want to get behind the publication of these stories. They are gems, every one of them! They need to be collected and told again in print.

“You get old and you realize there are no answers, just stories. -Garrison Keillor

"Our life stories are played out in an entrenched heterosexual culture & society, producing not only our angst, insecurities and complexes, but also the variety and richness of our alternative lives and lifestyles".

I am getting old enough now that I finally realise that certain times/moments in my life were pinnacles, not predictors of things to come. I recall the dizzying heights of firsts: the initial film that spoke to me personally, the foundational book that changed my thinking, that earliest piece of music that clutched my heart and made me cry. I thought that such moments would continue through life ad infinitum.
Over several decades, I have written nearly 100 articles and book Chapters for academic publications. These outpourings were full of information, citations and a certain amount of passion as well. I wanted more that that, however. One result of the current academic climate is that I am less interested in writing that does not communicate directly with an audience and include my “self” in that narrative. Somewhat reluctantly at first, therefore, I began to explore auto-ethnography and autofiction and their potential for more personal communication with an audience. I looked for platforms that I might use in order to reach that audience, including fiction, scriptwriting, poetry and storytelling.
It was by writing for my blog, KIPWORLD, that I began to experiment with this new kind of writing—personal, concise in word count, often open-ended and leaving room for the reader to engage. I used this writing space to visit memories of my past as exploration of social issues, often gay life, coming out, fitting in, and standing out. These are the unconventional treasures that I hope to share in this book.

A Novella, a Memoire, an Autofiction, Chances Are, is conceived as a compilation of my personal stories from KIPWORLD and elsewhere organised into more or less a ‘life story’ format (chronologically for the first time anywhere).

Tag: Chances Are A gullible youth on a roller coaster ride of loss of innocence and coming out in the flux and instability of 1960s hippy America and the life that followed.

Beginning in the 1960s, Chances Are's themes include being different, the celebration of being an outsider, seeing oneself from outside of the “norm”, and the interior conflicts of “coming out” within a continuum as a (gay) male in a straight world. These observations are set within the flux and instability of a period of great social change, but which are often viewed in retrospect as consistent and definable. Being straight or being gay can also be viewed in a similar way within the wider culture’s need to set up a sexual binary and force sexual “choice” decision-making for the benefit of the majority culture. Through the device of the fleeting moment, the stories interrogate the certainties and uncertainties of the “norms” of modernity. The stories, scripted scenes, poetry and short interjections congeal to take the reader along with the author from the complexities, concerns and confusions of his life in the 1960s onward through the following decades, seeking resolution, or at least less confusion!

This is not previously "unpublished" material in the sense of academic papers with scientific breakthroughs seeking justification by peers through journal or book publication. Heavens no! The compilation of stories in Chances Are resemble in a way how Charles Dickens wrote (and rewrote) his stories.  His novels, most of them published in monthly or weekly instalments, pioneered the serial publication of narrative fiction. He thus first produced sections of his novels for publication in weekly papers for a general audience.  He then frequently lectured and performed the stories extensively to enraptured audiences throughout the county.  After this, his novels were finally taken up by his publishers and printed as books. Any publisher with an understanding of writing as this kind of creative process will grasp this very similar journey for the development of the narrative material for Chances Are.

"A Summer Holiday, Three Books and a Story. "More than 46K have read this story on KIPWORLD. …

I hope that by sharing these stories with a wider audience in book format, readers are encouraged to look at their lives in their own particular way and produce creative outputs from them.

There is a magical quality in listening to a story.  We listen because we want to know how a life can be different from our own, or how it can be exactly the same.  Stories compel us to compare.

If anyone is aware of a publisher or editor who might be interested, please have them contact me: Any help is gratefully appreciated!

Thursday 3 December 2020

After the Storm

After the Storm

(A Poem for the Post-Trump and Post-Covid Era) 

Calm the waters back into their banks.

Follow a few good women.

For it is they, in times of trouble,

who innately know what first needs mending.

Fell the falling trees and collect their branches.

Repair the lanes and quiet the animals.

Gather the children and begin to tell them stories again.

Be restored by the sky’s electric clear-blue air.

Then share that breath with both friend and foe.

For it is nature, both human and otherwise, 

That will begin to make things right again.

© Kip Jones 2020

Tuesday 1 December 2020

Tiny Covid Moments

“Like endless rain into a paper cup”. 

Went to the bins with a big bag of leaves. On the way, a young man came towards the bins with a bucket of leaves as well. Something in common. We chatted about leaves. And gutters, and such things.It was such a treat to engage in conversation, particularly with a stranger. I introduced myself and offered my hand. He shook mine and said, "I'm Adam". 

I realised later that we had sinned, crossed into a no-go area without protecting ourselves in our excitement for communion. 

Life is never easy on this lonely planet.

Ocado delivery came in the twilight last night. A tall young delivery guy walked up to my door, his hand outstretched, and my missing silver chain bracelet in his hand.

"Did you lose this?" he said.


"Yes! Thank you! Where was it?"


"I noticed it in the pebbles on the dark path to your door".

I thanked him again. He was Estonian and quite handsome. 

Should I invite him in?

No, but this is the way life should be. Not furtive hook-ups on phone apps.

Thursday 24 September 2020

The Loss of Pioneer Mary Gergen

Sad news to hear that pioneer Mary Gergen has left us . She was a front-runner as a woman in academics, feminism, Social Constructionism, relationships, blended families, and great at bringing "performance" to all of these.Mary and her husband Ken Gergen spent many great moments with us at Bournemouth U in the UK and its Qualitative and Performative conferences over the years. Below, a short slideshow of those times. (Turn sound on!

So I’m gonna fly in the sky so high in the wind
And I’m gonna try really, really try so hard not to give in
And find the song of you
So I’m gonna run and hide my head in the sand
And I’m gonna think really, really think so hard to try and understand
And find the song of you
The song of you
You can also read/see a graphic version of Mary's life story that Mary and I put together for FQS:

Thoroughly Post Modern Mary

I will miss you dearly, Mary, and send my deepest sympathies to Ken and your family.


Post-script: “Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.”--Wordsworth

I didn't realise until later, but when I deal with deep sadness my first response is always art. When Richard was in hospital dying from Aids, I first found him sleeping. I grabbed the hospital menu from the tray and drew his picture on it. The same when our dog Lulu died. I drew one last picture of her.
My first reaction to Mary Gergen's death was 1. to find photos; 2. to find music. Secondly, then to revisit the life story interview that I had illustrated with photos, graphics and typeface. These are all here on this page.

It's who I am.


Friday 11 September 2020

Previous Writings on Performative Social Science

We are in the process of pitching an edited book on Performative Social Science with contributions to Chapters from 19 colleagues from around the world.

Below is an updated list of my writing that I have done so far on PSS:

Jones, K. (2017) “Emotivity and Ephemera Research” Ch. In Innovative Research Methods in Management. Editors: Moutinho L, Sokele M. Part 1, Ch. 3. Springer International Publishing AG (Palgrave Macmillan), London UK 2017
Jones, K., Hearing, T. (2016) “Film as Research/Research as Film”. Ch. in The Handbook of Arts-Based Research. P. Leavy, Ed. New York, NY: Guilford Press.
Jones, K. (2016) “’Styles of Good Sense’ Ethics, Filmmaking and Scholarship”. Ch. 43: 1264-1288 in: The Routledge International Handbook on Narrative and Life History, I. Goodson, A. Antikainen, M. Andrews & P. Sikes, Eds.  Abingdon UK: Routledge Publishers.

Jones, K. (2016) “Performative Social Science”. Ch. in: The International Encyclopedia of Communication. Research Methods, J. Matthes, Ed. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
Jones, K., Leavy, P. (2014) “A Conversation Between Kip Jones and Patricia Leavy: Arts-Based Research, Performative Social Science and Working on the Margins.” The Qualitative Report, 19, 38: 1-7.
Jones, K. (with T. Hearing) (2013) “Turning research into film: Trevor Hearing in conversation with Kip Jones about the short film, RUFUS STONE”. Ch. in Qualitative Research in the Social Sciences, M. Lichtman, Ed.  New York: Sage Publications.
Jones, K. (2012) Connecting research with communities through Performative Social Science. The Qualitative Report, 17(Rev. 18), 1-8. Retrieved from
Gergen, M., Jones K. (2008) Editorial: “A Conversation about Performative Social Science. Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 9(2), Art. 43.
Jones K. (2008) (Special Issue Editor) with M. Gergen, J. J. Guiney Yallop, I, Lopez de Vallejo, B. Roberts & P. Wright (Co-Editors) (2008) Forum: Qualitative Social Research Special Issue on Performative Social Science (42 articles) 9:2 (May 2008).

Wednesday 8 July 2020

Man in a Ditch

Murano Island, Venice

“You must never smile like that... you must never smile like that at anyone”.

Venice was a struggle … three times. The first time for me, the ship was stuck in the harbour at Dubrovnik with a broken propeller and couldn’t leave for Venice. Eventually it went to Trieste instead; me? utterly disappointed.

The third time, yes it was Venice, but in high summer season, very hot, crowded, no, packed like sardines, like the end of the world was just a day or two away.

The Doge’s Palace gets 1.3 million visitors per year. There are a zillion steps to get into the building, then another trillion to reach the main room on the next floor. I asked why, with all those paying tourists climbing all those many stairs (and in the heat), why oh why couldn’t they install a lift? I didn’t get an answer.

The second time I had a crack at Venice is the one I would like to talk about here. I was thrilled to finally arrive at the location for the film, Death in Venice, perhaps see the lido, even the hotel where von Aschenbach stayed. I fired up my phone with the Adagio from Mahler’s 5th, used so successfully in the film by Visconti. I went on deck in early morning as we sailed into Venice via the Grand Canal, listening to Mahler and observing the incredible floating architecture.

It was either early Spring or late Autumn; I don’t recall. What I do remember is the constant rain and miserably cold temperatures.  You can tell it’s really raining and will be for some time in Venice because they put wooden platforms for pedestrians to walk on about one foot above the pavement. So, we trotted around Venice in the rain like that.

I hooked up with Sally, a passenger from London whom I had met on the ship. As time went on, I realised that Sally was on a remembrance journey to Venice of her own making.  She never revealed the whole story; rather, she just commented on various sites that we visited that held memories for her. A love story never told? Perhaps.

On our first day, because of the heavy rain, she and I decided to take an excursion to Murano island to visit the famous glassworks. We would get to ride in a vaporetto, another treat I was looking forward to.

Bouncing along in the rather choppy waters on the Grand Canal, the heavy rain began spitting through the cracks in the boat. We tried looking at the scenery by wiping the small windows with the forearms of our coats. They kept fogging up, however, and we didn’t see much.

We disembarked the vaporetto onto a small jetty and into the continuing rain and fog.

The whole idea of building a city on water is part genius, part madness. I suppose that is a great measure of the attraction of Venice. There are many small islands that make up the miniscule amount of land comprising the habitable real estate of the lagoon. Murano is one of them—a part of Venice revealing a more human scale.

We trotted along, this shivering clump of tourists being hustled forward with some difficulty on a narrow footpath. To top it all off, we came to an intersection where the pavement was dug up for construction, a deep ditch about three feet wide taking up most of the pedestrian walkway along the canal.

Then it happened. Rising from the trench like Venus on a half-shell was one of the most beautiful young men I have ever seen. Totally struck by his beauty, I stopped in my tracks, now almost facing him.

And then it really happened. This entrenched workman smiled at me. Here I was in Venice, like von Aschenbach, having my own unplanned Death in Venice encounter with the beauty of youth!

And so, slowly but surely, in my mind at least, I repeated Thomas Mann’s line from the novel, Death in Venice:

 “You must never smile like that... you must never smile like that at anyone”.

Sally suddenly grabbed my arm roughly and hurried us along. The glass factory was waiting. Venice was waiting. But I had finally experienced what I had really come for: My Death in Venice moment.

The rain never really cleared, but we determinedly saw Venice for the next two days. Sally, resolute to recreate her past visit, nonetheless still only willing to share bits and pieces of it, never revealing the true story behind her recollections.

Once in a while she would catch me smiling, but never asked why.

I kept my secret too.