Kip Jones

KIP JONES, an American by birth, has been studying and working in the UK for more than 15 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 11,000 people in 150
countries over the past year alone.

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, 26 November 2009

... a roving and disconnected type of writing ...

'... the exposition of an idea through fragments, through a roving and disconnected type of writing, can sometimes better circumscribe its object than can a more linear approach'.
--Nicolas Bourriaud (2009) The Radicant

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Relational Humanism in documentation and dissemination

‘We locate in a specifically relational humanism a new and significant means of realizing traditional visions of human well-being’ (Gergen 1997). Social science often has sought new ways of attaining greater "sensibility" to humanistic concerns; nonetheless, the status of new forms of production and dissemination as academic knowledge remains contested and ambiguous, and further development is required (Jones 2006).

Any large and diverse research project benefits from the documentation of its very development. Relational humanism in documentation and dissemination means that personal autonomy, dignity, liberty and responsibility are considered positive values for consideration throughout the on-going dialogue created by the research itself and its dissemination. It is through having a record of this very process that knowledge can be shared with others, creating a continuum on which the outcomes of a project's efforts can begin to flourish. The concern is with ambiguity, process, meaning, totality and history (Plummer 1983) through the continuity and “aliveness” of ideas. Humanising the process of documentation can be achieved by historically accurate ways: by listening to the stories of process and change within the research development itself. In turn, humanising the method of dissemination means consideration of any audience's part in the overall progression and building audience participation into the overall plan. A relational humanism urges us as theorists, human scientists and practitioners to seek ways – multiple ways - of generating integrative conversation.

Relational humanism thus appears not as ‘top-down’ concept but as a practical process of give-and-take by all of the players. Humanism also prompts us to imagine our potential audiences in ways which challenge us to re-imagine the commonweal, common good, or imagined community across disciplines and the intellectual freedom (Wakelin 2007) of our audiences themselves—a relational aesthetic (Bourriaud 2002; Jones 2006). Our considerations, through embodied perception, encourage us to walk around the edges of processes, to see beyond factuality to the humanism hidden on the other side. By extending our gaze beyond the usual, to new technologies and modes of presentation, we open doors to new understandings and resources (Jones 2006).

‘The precise meaning of relatedness, then, remains indeterminate and dependent upon further co-ordinations within relationship’ (Gergen 1997).


Bourriaud, N. (2002; English version) Relational Aesthetics. Dijon, France: Les Presses du Reel.

Gergen, K.J. (1997) Social Theory in Context: Relational Humanism. Draft copy for J. Greenwood (ed), The mark of the social. New York: Rowman and Littlefield.

Jones, K. (2006) ‘A Biographic Researcher in Pursuit of an Aesthetic: The use of arts-based (re)presentations in “performative” dissemination of life stories’. Qualitative Sociology Review, April 06.

Plummer, K. (1983) Documents of Life An Introduction to the Problems and Literature of a Humanistic Method. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Wakelin, D. (2007) Humanism, Reading, and English Literature 1430-1530.