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.

Friday, 17 April 2020

Zoom by Kip Jones

By Kip Jones

(In his best presentational voice)
Okay. Ready for our regular meeting.
Using Zoom today.
Everybody ready and willing?
(laughs to himself)

Hello?  You there?
Can you hear me?


My screen just went dark. Are you still there?
(beat) Oh, never mind.
There you all are!

Is the whole team assembled?
There should be about 12 of us, but I am only seeing
five of you.

Yeah. You have to have your photo turned on …
Or something.

Is it working now? I wore a tie for this!

Sorry I’m late. I have brought the little one
along. She’s colicky.

Oh, that’s always a difficult time.
Turn your camera on, Bev! I can’t see the baby.

We have a lot to get through this morning.
Could we get started?

I was going to ask if I could bring at least one
of the kids. We’re home schooling them.

Yes. I have been working on numeracy
with mine already today.

Could you all turn your cameras on?
We can’t see you.

Oh. I haven’t really dressed yet.
I thought this was more like texting.

What are you wearing, Tom?

Well, PJ bottoms and a T shirt.
Oh. And slippers.

Very sexy!

(clears throat)
As I said, the agenda is quite full.

Is that your kitchen, Hal?
We were thinking of those kinds of cabinets.


They look good in glossy white.
What did you use for backsplashes?

Another time, perhaps?

Dick, are you in an office?

Yeah, it’s my home office. I built it under the stairs.
Mostly to have a place away from the kids.

Yes, I can hear them in the background. 
Screaming, are they?

Yes. It’s part of a game I think. (beat)
Oh, fuck! The dog just bolted in!

What kind is it? It looks like a Lab?

It’s a mix. Lab and Collie I think.
Sorry for saying ‘fuck’.

No need for apologies, but could we get on?

Hello, everybody! Can you see me?

(Hellos, etc)

Sorry I’m late. I finally booked a food delivery.
And they just came.

You look shattered, Elenore.
Everything okay?

Yes, mostly. It’s just getting used to all of this.
I get a bit teary at times.

Yes. Seems never to end.

And we are the lucky ones.
Working at home and still getting full pay.

You say that. I’m not so sure.
The anxiety level is miles high.

Well, maybe if you washed and dressed, Tom.

Thanks boss. I’ll take that on board.

Sorry. I didn’t mean to sound harsh.
It’s hard times for all of us.
(pauses, then)
We’ve written a short paper about
maintaining our mental health.
Should I circulate it again?

(muttering and unclear voices)

I’ve just realised how many
books are on the shelves behind you, Tom!

Yes, running out of room!

Have you read them all? (beat)
Or are they just for show?

Okay, gang! That’s about enough
chit chat. Shall we make a start?
The clock is ticking and we have a lot
to cover today.

(more mumbling, then)

ON SCREEN: We are sorry but your allotted free time on
Zoom has expired. If you would like to pay for more time
and continue, please click “continue’ at the top of the page.


Are we still on?

What do I do now?

I can’t see any of you?

My screen has gone black!

Your voice is fading!


Hello, Hal?  Do you read me?

The End.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Call for Chapter Ideas for a Book on Performative Social Science

I am retiring at the end of February from Bournemouth University. My plan is to do some writing that I have been meaning to get to for some time.  One of the discussions with a publisher is a book about Performative Social Science.

More a doer than a talker, I would like this potential book to be about DOING Performative Social Science (perhaps even the title?). As a subtext possibly: “Creativity in doing research and communicating it to an audience”.  The creativity could be inspiration from any of the arts; that audience can be readers, users, viewers, listeners, participants, communities, etc.

At this early stage, I would be interested in hearing ideas for contributions from you for Chapters for the book. Your Chapter should be an example of how you have used the wide principles of PSS and its aesthetic ( a project of your own – be it research, dissemination, performance, exhibition, community action, publication, etc.

If you would like your idea to be considered in my discussions with the publisher, please send me a short email with your thoughts (nothing too formal yet), and perhaps the area of the arts that informs it.


Friday, 7 February 2020

Performative Social Science reaching wider audiences

A Chapter on Performative Social Science for the International Encyclopedia of Communication Research Methods by Dr Kip Jones has achieved 1500+ reads on ResearchGate.

Performative Social Science (PSS) is an arts-led method of research and dissemination developed by Jones at Bournemouth University over ten years and is recognised internationally. Recently lauded by Sage Publications, they described PSS as pioneering work that will ‘propel arts-led research forward’ and be a ‘valued resource for students and researchers for years to come’.  
Performative Social Science (PSS) is positioned within the current era of cross-pollination from discipline to discipline. Practitioners from the Arts and Humanities look to the Social Sciences for fresh frameworks, whist Social Science practitioners explore the Arts for potential new tools for enquiry and dissemination.
‘Kip Jones brings the genre of what he calls performative social sciences forward with wide-ranging theoretical, academic, and artistic products in a various media that takes up how social scientists can use art for investigation and dissemination.’ —“Embodied Methodologies, Participation, and the Art of Research” by Madeline Fox  
Dr Kip Jones, Reader in Qualitative Research and Performative Social Science retires from Bournemouth University at the end of February, but will continue with PhD supervision on a part-time basis. He has four potential publications in discussion with publishers, including a volume on PSS.

Wednesday, 1 January 2020


After 15 years at Bournemouth University, I have decided to retire at the end of February. It was not an easy decision and the reasons are many and layered. Suffice it to say here that it was becoming an environment in which it was more and more difficult to make academic and creative contributions within a fiercely managerial approach to scholarly endeavours.

I will now be able to get to four books that have been 'in discussion' for some time. I also will continue with PhD supervision. I am available for workshops and keynotes at other institutions, particularly ones where we can arrange these virtually.

I would appreciate it if you would make any comments by private message and not here in a social media environment. For this reason, the Comments function is not available on this post.

Thanks and looking forward to the next Chapter, as it should always be.

I gave my love didn't I?
And I gave it big sometimes
And I gave it in my own sweet time
I'm just leaving (Jane Siberry)

"Hold on to whatever you have gained from knowing me.
Come back for more whenever you want".--Kip

                        2005                                                         2015

Sunday, 6 October 2019

Notes on Narrative

Quoc Bao Duong, creatively writes a story based only
on a single image of a specific person in a specific place.
No other information is given. A photograph can capture
a moment just after something has happened,
or just before something is about to happen.
The exercise is to create that story.
We strain to hear the story, almost whispered.  We strain because, as human beings we love stories, particularly when they are told to us …or narrated.  There is a magical quality to listening to a story.  We listen because we want to know how life can be different from ours or how it can be exactly the same.  Stories compel us to listen.

  1.   Strengths of narrative research
The field of narrative within sociology began with The Polish Peasant in Europe and America (1918-1920; Florian Znaniecki with W. I. Thomas). This approach to life and lived experience was later defined as the autobiographical method in sociology and located in the theory of symbolic interactionism.

One of the reasons that many social scientists turn to biography is the possibility that such investigations present for localised “truths”— one individual speaking her/his “truth” about a specific life to an audience of one (the interviewer) on a particular localised day. That biography, “performed” on a different day and to a wider audience, offers up that personal “truth” to a community that then decides on its legitimacy and relevance, but only for and within that particular community.

This situation leads to the question of whether the initial individual “truth” was transferable (or not).

In the best narrative work, descriptive/interpretive analysis is a story about stories.  When it veers from this basic concept, it goes off course.  When I, as a narrative researcher, look for stories to tell there is another overarching story to tell in how I came to be in this particular landscape in the first place.  What was it about me (my peculiar interface with society, policy, trends, and conventions) that led me on the particular path I took?   If I disclose this half of the circle then the second half makes sense.  It is within the fullness of this circle that the hermeneutic process becomes complete.  Only when I can find myself in an ‘other’ can I begin to understand what is unique and individual about an ‘other’ and ultimately what is distinctive about myself.

Asking a person to tell us about her/his life is just a beginning. By doing this, in a less than perfect way, we are at least starting by participating in the storytelling of the person in her/his world, her/his expectations, successes, failures and dreams.

It is in these moments of shared, extended reality that we connect to what it means to be human and, therefore, reached a higher plane of understanding and a blurring of individual differences.

2.      Storytelling and narrative research - major features and uses What is Narrative?

Qualitative research is no longer the poor stepchild of quantitative enquiries.  Over the past ten years, qualitative research has come into its own, particularly in terms of wider acceptance in academic and policy communities. Qualitative research is always about story reporting and story making. Narrative is a democratising factor in social science research. Interpretations of narrative stories strive to capture meanings behind life events at the individual and family levels, thus illuminating the social contexts of life events.

One of the virtues of qualitative research is its inclusionary nature and ability to give service-users a voice, both through the research process itself (for example, through a wide range of qualitative social science practices that include participatory action research, in-depth interviewing, ethnographic studies, visual anthropology, biographic narrative studies and so forth) and in reports, documents and presentations. The importance of this kind of research cannot be overemphasised, particularly when dealing with the disadvantaged and/or the unheard voice. 

By adopting a narrative rather than an empirical mode of inquiry, we allow ourselves to get closer to the phenomena studied in several ways.  First, the narrative provides access to the specific rather than the abstract; secondly, narratives allows experience to unfold in a temporal way; thirdly, everyday language and its nuances are encouraged; finally, narrative allows personal dynamics to reveal themselves in the actions and relationships presented as well as the reviewers response to them. It is important to remember that even the most quantitative of us still approach work with the ‘hidden agenda’, if you will, of our background, culture, experience, preferences and prejudices.  Part of being post-modern in our approaches includes acknowledging as much of these things as possible and being vigilant in discovering the more hidden ones. By clearing the air in this way, we not only can attempt to produce more transparent data, but also can often find keys to understanding that we may have otherwise overlooked. 

3.   How data is collected in narrative research

  Narrative Research is listening to told stories…
            What is the story of your life?

The use of a biographical approach to understanding human concerns has a methodology that transcends the barriers of self/society as well as those of past/present/future. When a person’s lifetime is viewed as a whole, the idea of their ‘history’ can be apprehended at two levels.  First, the individual has their own history of personal development and change as they ‘process’ along their life course.  Second, a considerable amount of time passes as they move along their life course.  Historical events and social change at the societal level impinge upon the individual’s own unique life history.

Asking a person to tell us about her/his life is just a beginning.  By doing this, in a less than perfect way, we are at least starting by participating in the storytelling of the person in her/his world, her/his expectations, successes, failures and dreams.  I believe that Biographic Narrative Interpretive interviews are successes because they foreground the participants and their lives as she or he recalls them today, thus providing insight into the social construction of their identities but leaving enough space for the interpretation of the final audience, the reader or listener.

4.   Telling the story

We can no longer afford to ignore the great advances made in representation of qualitative data. These have been overwhelmingly demonstrated by the successes achieved in auto-ethnography, poetic enquiry, ethno-drama, film, Performative Social Science and/or other arts-based efforts in research and dissemination.

Narrative methods contribute greatly to the advances made in qualitative research. A narrative style should also be promoted in publications and presentations.
Narrative researchers are natural storytellers and need to foreground this when reporting studies for publication. Qualitative research is always about story reporting and story making, and narrative research (listening to and retelling stories) is a key democratising factor in qualitative social science research.