Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 19 years.
Under the umbrella term of 'arts-based 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 is Reader in Performative Social Science and Director of the Centre for Qualitative Research
at Bournemouth University. 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. His ground-breaking use of qualitative methods, including
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 13,000 people in 150

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 July 2009

YouTube Culture and the Politics of Authenticity

From Citizentube:

One of the most talked-about sessions at the Personal Democracy Forum conference we attended a few weeks back in New York was Professor Michael Wesch's speech, "The Machine is (Changing) Us: YouTube Culture and the Politics of Authenticity." Michael teaches cultural anthropology at Kansas State University, and has most recently focused on the impact of social media and digital culture on society.

Working alongside his students as digital explorers, Michael set out to learn about the YouTube phenomenon through experimentation. Just like a team of anthropologists living with tribes in the rain forest to learn about their culture, Michael and his students went "native" into the YouTube ecosystem, uploading videos, sharing them, talking with other YouTubers, and recording their thoughts along the way.

In essence, Michael and his students are exploring how our media shapes us. If the revolution of TV created a society where mindless suburbanites fixated on one-way conversations being blasted at them through their television sets, then the Internet has brought new opportunities for 2-way communication and community building through our computer screens. Yet the web also creates infinite opportunities to amplify the inane, and allows a new kind of anonymity that can lead to malaise and lack of responsibility. YouTube - which allows for both personalization and anonymity - represents this phenomenon in unique ways, and what Michael and his students discover in their research is thought-provoking. So much so that National Geographic recently named Michael an "Emerging Explorer." Not bad for a guy whose research involves watching a lot of YouTube videos.

This 30-minute speech he gave at the Personal Democracy Forum is well worth watching for anyone who's interested in YouTube and modern culture.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that the concept of a smaller world with the prevalence of both technology usage and media communication and expression adds an entirely new perspective to traditional anthropology. I strongly considered studying anthropology about two years ago to explore some of these related issues, though think the departments where I looked still thought the study of culture involved leaving everything we know to journey into the remote and isolated "out there." Too bad for them . . .