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.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

"Popularizing Research" is finally published!

Peter Lang Publishing announces the publication of Popularizing Research: Engaging New Genres, Media, and Audiences, edited by Phillip Vannini of Canada’s Royal Roads University.

This long-awaited resource is published with an opening Chapter by Bournemouth University’s Kip Jones.


The Chapter, “Short Film as Performative Social Science: The Story Behind "’Princess Margaret’"  is written by Jones, Reader in Qualitative Research and Performative Social Science at Bournemouth, who shares a joint appointment in HSC and the Media School. The Chapter outlines his fascinating and innovative approach to research and its dissemination via a fusion of the arts and social sciences.

Jones utilizes his chapter to recount an unconventional journey to academic publishing that certainly did not follow the usual route of journal or book publication. The Chapter revisits “The one about Princess Margaret”, one of Jones’ earliest attempts at audio/visual script writing, by recalling his initial motivation and enthusiasm for finding innovative ways to express scholarship and how his thinking about the use of tools from the arts in social science has evolved since those early days. These personal experiences are then offered up as advice in a summation for both social scientists and arts practitioners who may be interested in this new paradigm of Performative Social Science through a discussion about collaboration and pathways to impact.

Popularizing Research offers academics, professional researchers, and students a new methodological book/website hybrid by way of a broad survey of ways to popularize research. As an edited interdisciplinary book accompanied by a website featuring samples of popularized research, it will have the potential of not only telling its readers about new genres, new media, new strategies, and new imperatives for popularizing research, but most importantly it will also be useful in showing how these new processes work in the end, what they sound like, and what they look like.

For more information and to view the video representing Jones’ contribution to the book, see his page on the book’s website under ‘Film’.

Excerpt from Chapter 1. Short Film as Performative Social Science: The Story Behind "Princess Margaret" by Kip Jones

Publish or perish drives much of academic life.  It has its origins in hard science where the first to get an experiment, finding, or theory into publication won the prize. Other academic disciplines followed suit by imitating this system. This structure led to the development of an academic writing style and a vetting process that are both now antiquated and suspect. However, we’re all frequently caught up in this bind, me included.

Qikipedia recently cautioned us on Twitter that “about 200,000 academic journals are published in English. The average number of readers per article is five” (Qikipedia, 2010). Funders are now looking for outcomes from their investments that demonstrate how we will affect change in the wider world; in other words, the world beyond the very few other academics who happen to read a journal article. Fortunately, publishing is evolving and, more and more, supplementary multimedia are requested as part of the publication process. This climate of change presents opportunities to get the products of our alternative methods of dissemination of social-science data to wider audiences—to popularize research.

Friday, 9 March 2012

Stuff about ‘Stuff’

These two seemingly disparate fields become something new, more than the sum of their parts, a delicious undertaking.  Alison is adept at working with both sides of her brain and I compliment her on that achievement”.

Ah, youth.  When I went to Art College in the 1960s, I left behind a proper four-year college education halfway through and my father’s expectation that I would ever amount to anything.

A ‘simple country boy’, as I am fond of describing myself in retrospect, I went to the big city and encountered what was initially quite an overwhelming experience.  Fellow art students seemed more talented and sophisticated than me.  The other boys had locks that certainly were longer than mine.  That became my first trial then: to grow my hair.

The second challenge was to choose a ‘major’ for my studies.  I had arrived with a passion for theatre set design, but there was no major in that.  I chose ‘three-dimensional design’ because I thought that was a close second.  

It turns out it wasn’t. 

Three-D was in fact about Industrial Design: engineering and building models and stuff. I spent the majority of my time making spidery mock-ups of bridges and such out of balsa wood strips, which would somehow always get crushed in the journey from my apartment to class.  Sniffing the air-plane glue used to assemble them turned out to be the only unexpected pleasure of this new experience.  At other times, perspective drawings were required that needed to be India inked with Rapidograph pens.  Always a few steps from completion, the pen would tit squirt a huge blob of black ink all over the drawing and ruin it. 

There were other possibilities in choosing a major at Art College, of course.  Painting was one, but those students all seemed a bit too talented and determined.  Illustration was another, but those with an interest in that seemed already to have all the skills necessary (and I certainly didn’t).  There was Ceramics, but I generally made a muddy mess at the potter’s wheel at the required introductory lessons.  In fear of no future job prospects otherwise, I stuck to Industrial Design. No, I was not brave enough to take a more adventurous gamble on ‘art for art’s sake’.

There were courses in Typography, but I had little idea what Typography was.  The teacher who ran the Typography course was called “Jim”, even by his students.  This was rare at that time, because most instructors were called ‘Mr. This’ or ‘Mr. That’.  His students, who worshipfully followed him around between classes, all seemed a bit uh, …well, what we might call ‘alternative’ these days.  Word of mouth was that he was really into innovation, new music, even revolution.  His students were going to turn the world of Art on its head.  They were going to change everything. 

He (and they) were quite scary to me. 

Now I say scary, but we must remember that we are talking about a country boy in the big city who was just learning about the possibilities of other ways of doing, living, being.  An example: an ‘older’ student in our class (who had served in the Navy) invited us to his place one night to listen to some music.  It turns out that he smoked ‘weed’ and had us listening to some strange folk singer, Bob Dylan.  It was too weird for me and I left quickly. 

This is ironic because only two years later I would be listening to Buffy Saint Marie records whilst doing lines of speed purchased from a go-go dancer.  In the final analysis, Madame Bovary had nothing on me in terms of ruination in the big city!

So this brings us to talk about Typography more soberly and page design more generally.  Eventually, I did learn something about two-dimensional design from Lenore Chorney, a wonderful teacher of Fashion Illustration who became my mentor for several years.  I embraced the excitement that she brought to the page in her talks about Dada artists, Suprematism and Constructivism from Moscow, Bauhaus design from Germany, Futurism from Italy, and De Stijl from Holland.


I was a slow starter, but I got there in the end.  Because of or in spite of those early experiences, the visual is of central importance to everything I have done and still do. I often comment that I learn more by watching what people do than listening to what they say.

In spite of (or because of) my visual orientation, I have returned to the concept of text and the page frequently in my work in Performative Social Science (See Popularizing Research), particularly in my considerations of ‘audience’ and specifically, the primary importance of the reader when our outputs are textural.  How do we engage the reader in a dialogue? How do we encourage our readers to invest their own experiences in their interface with our text?

An early (Jones, 2004) attempt was made at both audience engagement and alternative use of textural production in the published results of my interview with social psychologist, Mary Gergen (”Thoroughly Post-Modern Mary”), where I used a variety of typography and illustrations within a unique page design to represent that biography in an academic journal.

Four years later, Sally Berridge (2008) produced a stunning effort in a graphic design of her entire thesis, represented in the FQS article,“What Does It Take? Auto/biography as Performative PhD Thesis”.

Now we have ‘Stuff’ by Alison Barnes (2010) or ‘Typography as a language of performance’.  ‘Stuff’ is a slim, beautifully crafted volume that provides unique and personal answers to the query, ‘What makes your house a home?’ Items such as photographs, travel souvenirs and childhood toys become autobiographical objects and form a spatial representation of identity in the book.  The reader truly becomes engaged in a process of interaction. The readers’ experiences are embellished by their own personal reflections and memories, redefining yet again, the on-going social construction of the meaning of home.

‘Stuff’ is important to me and to Performative Social Science because it is a successful example of the fusion of art and social science in a single project.  The levels of both design and social science compete with each other for praise.  These two seemingly disparate fields become something new, more than the sum of their parts, a delicious undertaking.  Alison is adept at working with both sides of her brain and I compliment her on that achievement.

I never did complete Art College.  Life happened as we like to say and I moved on with it.  Several years later I did cobble together my credits from the initial college along with those from the Art College and fashion them into an undergrad degree of sorts by taking a few more academic credits at a local University. 

I fondly recall an Anthropology course at that University for which I produced a final project—a game in the shape of a three-dimensional model of a haunted house. It came with little plastic babies that were the game pieces.  You dropped them down the house’s chimney to play.  The professor was taken aback, but he did give me an ‘A’ for my efforts. 

I had been to Art College, after all.

For the time-being, you can read about Alison Barnes’ journey with ‘Stuff’ (and see some examples) on her blog.

This blog is produced using Georgia typeface.  I thought that providing this information would be an ironic touch.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Rufus Stone the movie: Trivia

A compiliation of trivia from 
the making of Rufus Stone the movie. 

The 'mirroring' by the two younger characters of their older counterparts was conceived after the Exec Producer shared a pas de deux from Petit's Proust ballet with the film's director. The swimming scene in Rufus was also partly based on this ballet.


"Morel et Saint-Loup ou le combat des anges" interprété par Stéphane Bullion et Florian Magnenet Extrait de "Proust ou les intermittences du coeur" ...

       'Abigail', the young tattle-tale in Rufus was named after another scandalmonger, 'Abigail', from 'The Crucible' by Arthur Miller.

Martha Myers-Lowe (above) who plays Abigail in Rufus Stone also played Ian Curtis' sister in the film about the band Joy Division, 'Control'.
        Flip's line, "I'm not sure if the place is ready to receive 'gentlemen callers'" is an homage to Tennessee Williams. 


       The name 'Rufus Stone' was chosen for the film and the character after months of ruminating. The author saw a sign for "Rufus Stone" in the New Forest and remarked: 'That sounds just like a character in a Thomas Hardy novel!'

      The name 'Flip' is short for 'Philippe'. In the back story, Flip's mother ,who married a farmer, was from the nearby town and put on 'airs'. She gave her boys French names, which bullying quickly shortened.

    Rufus' hands in the opening close-up are actually those of boom operator, Dan Rhodes, who stood in for the shot.

             The film was shot over five days in July with a cast and crew of more than 45 people in eight locations in rural Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire.

It was director Haneke's comment about 'The White Ribbon' that partly inspired the story behind Rufus Stone: "‘It’s very simple to get a cross section of society within a village; you get a microcosm of the social macrocosm’.

        Rufus Stone was shot entirely on the Arri Alexa digital camera. "ARRI is to filmmaking, cameras and lenses, what the Mercedes is to the automobile".

The biggest thrill of the shoot for Exec Producer Kip Jones was watching the 'fire starter' at work. Jones had some problems with playing with matches as a child, he admits. 

       Discussions between Director Josh Appignanesi and Exec Producer/Writer Kip Jones began in 2006. It took more than two years to raise the funding and four years to complete the research, before the writing for the script of Rufus Stone began.