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 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.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Academics Alert: Why it is time to stop hiding in ivory towers ...

Nationalist counterdemonstrators shout homophobic slogans at gay protesters in Moscow

'Many professionals in health, education, and community service roles are caught in a particular identity bind—living in a complex social borderland of credibility and professional authority while experiencing or having experienced the same discrimination,violence and/or trauma they’ve committed their working lives to helping others overcome. For some, the disclosure of their own stories of marginalization has become a tool for advocacy, for telling a larger truth; for others,self-disclosure is a more personal action, intended to assist those isolated in their suffering in developing trust and connection'
.--‘Speaking Out’ by Linde Zingaro

When we uncover injustice,prejudice and (quite frankly) illegal hatred and bigotry in the process of carrying out our work, we are ethically bound to out it. Expediency, by keeping such outrage quiet, hidden and out of view, is the greatest unethical practice of all. There are times when academia needs to stop being just a 'talking shop' and take a stand on principle.

The bigot may cry: "Oh! You've have misrepresented and vilified me!" I respond: "Then why did you engage in such verbal abuse in the first place? Your insults are perceived as encouraging hatred amongst your peers towards me and others like me." I have protected your anonymity in order that you might think about your actions and the damage that they may cause to others. I expose your actions as an example from which others may learn. I 'speak out' so that such behaviour and abuse will not continue unchecked.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

"Got to. This America, man"

“You show me anything that depicts institutional progress … anything that somebody can get a promotion on, and as soon as you invent that statistical category 50 people in that institution will be at work trying to figure out a way to make it look as if progress is actually occurring when actually no progress is... The same game is played everywhere – nobody’s actually in the business of doing what the institution is supposed to do... If there’s an institution that is supposed to serve you or that you are supposed to serve, and it’s supposed to care for you and be a societal positive, it will betray you.” David Simon, creator of The Wire.

Bill Moyers interview with David Simon.