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.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Three tales of sexual intrigue from Kip Jones

Just published for early viewing 


"True confessions: why I left a traditional liberal arts college for the sins of the Big City", Qualitative Research Journal, Vol. 17,1.

 A story, a reminiscence, and a filmscript

By means of several auto-ethnographic stories (including a scene from a working script for a proposed film), the author interrogates numerous ideas and misconceptions about gay youth, both past and present. A “bargain of silence” sometimes following gay sexual encounters in youth is described. The author recounts a sexual experience with a male college student in his past. This dissonance catapulted the author to move from his small liberal arts college to the city and begin his education again at an Art College.

Jones then describes his personal attraction to a sixteen-year-old boy who lived near his lodgings during one summer’s break from Art College.  This time, the relationship remained purely platonic, but that didn’t seem to matter where the boy’s parents were concerned.  The author’s social position and pretense coupled with his romantic outlook convinced him that anything was possible, even this platonic love. The painful lesson learned that summer was that this was not the case, and never would be. The boy’s parents threatened Jones, and he never saw the youth again.

The Author continues by discussing his award winning research-based film, RUFUS STONE, and the reactions and conversations following screenings, particularly with youth. This present generation seems to Jones to be a sexually ambivalent one, more comfortable with multiple choices or no choice at all.  Nonetheless, these young people do identify with the complexity of feelings and insecurities presented by youth within the film.

In a recent report on sexuality of American high school students by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), researchers found an ambivalence and ‘dissonance’ amongst youth regarding sexuality and choice. Jones acknowledges that there remains a contemporary problem of genuine acceptance by society, and that there still is work to be done. He also admits that present-day attitudes by youth regarding sexuality are one that he had previously assumed to be historical ones.

Next, a scene from a working script for a proposed film, Copacetica, set in the “swinging sixties”, is presented. The scene outlines a sexual encounter between the lead character, who remains confounded by his sexuality, and his girl friend. In the scene they have sex, after which they discuss sex itself and their relationship.

Being straight or being gay can be viewed 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, this essay hopes to interrogate the certainties and uncertainties of the “norms” of modernity by portraying sexuality in youth.

An earlier draft version of the article is also available on

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