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.

Monday, 23 December 2013

Research as Fiction: “The Return of Rufus Stone” by Kip Jones*

A four-year research project at Bournemouth University, “Gay and Pleasant Land?—a study about positioning, ageing and gay life in rural South West England and Wales”, took place as part of the Research Councils UK-funded New Dynamics of Ageing Programme on ageing in 21st Century Britain. The key output of this effort was the short professionally made, award-winning film RUFUS STONE1. I acted as Project Lead and Author and Executive Producer for the film. The research project’s methods included narrated biography, visual ethnography, auto-ethnography, focus group work and theatrical improvisation of interview data.
In the process of refining the treatment for the film, the Director (Josh Appignanesi) and I faced several obstacles revolving around plot. If the premise was that Rufus would return to his boyhood village after 50 years in exile, there needed to be a reason for that journey backed up by research to support it. Subsequently, I returned to the interview data for more detail (‘evidence’) to support the reasons (‘theory’) for the return of Rufus Stone. I further explored and elaborated both Rufus’ story as a lad and his decision-making as an adult, always constructing these ‘facts’ from stories which were told to us whilst carrying out the research.
Both the film and this short story are fiction, or what I prefer to call ‘fictive reality’. Fictive reality is conceived as the ability to engage in imaginative and creative invention while remaining true to the remembered realities as told through the narrations of others. Several, in fact, may recount a similar incident. When these reports are combined into one person’s story or a “composite” character, a “fiction” is born (Jones, 2013).
By returning to this material to write “The Return of Rufus Stone”, I am creating a ‘prequel’ to the film RUFUS STONE. It is a reworking and refinement of those early writings. By becoming a short story, it fine-tunes the detail by focusing on the reasons for Rufus’ return as literature. Rufus Stone’s reappearance in his boyhood village after 50 years of exile sets up the possibilities for the characters to remember, reassess and even potentially change. This short story explains how that journey became possible.

Read the story here
 * This story was first published on 22 Dec 2013 on the SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION website, Mark Carrigan, ed. 
 Watch the film here: