On Sensuous Methodologies in Qualitative Research

Martin Wood on Western Front Almscliff

Martin Wood on Western Front Almscliff

CMH affiliate Sally Brown writes: Following on from a successful year on the film festival circuit with my film Lines of Flight, my co-author/director/producer Martin Wood and I have had a second paper published about the making of the film. The purpose of our most recent paper is to make use of the auteur approach to film production to further develop knowledge about sensuous methodologies in qualitative research.  We suggest that one way for qualitative research to have affective impact is to use the working methods and procedures of the creative arts, and would argue that we need a research culture where risk is permissible and engagement with the creative arts is given greater recognition.  As a mode of creative arts enquiry, film making can allow a degree of the emotional meaning and feeling within a study to come through into the analysis and the viewer’s/reader’s affective experience.

Making the film was itself a ‘line of flight’ for me – a way of connecting work, well-being and place through creative expression.

Martin Wood, Sally Brown, (2012) “Film-based creative arts enquiry: qualitative researchers as auteurs”, Qualitative Research Journal, 12.1, pp.130 – 147. 

Abstract: Purpose – Inspired by an exciting revival of interest in the working methods and processes of the creative arts, the purpose of this paper is to make use of the auteur approach to film production, to further develop knowledge about sensuous methodologies in qualitative research. Design/methodology/approach – An exegesis of the authors’ particular experiences in producing and disseminating a short documentary film is used to construct a framework from which to analyse affective modes of engagement within the parameters of qualitative research. Findings – Qualitative researchers are characterised as creative artists who bring their precise aesthetic choice to bear on an audience through a mix of technical competence, distinguishable personality and interior meaning. Practical implications – One way for qualitative research to have affective impact is to use the working methods and procedures of the creative arts. Social implications – A research culture is required where risk is permissible and engagement with the creative arts is given greater recognition in future qualitative projects. Originality/value – As a mode of creative arts enquiry, film making can allow a degree of the emotional meaning and feeling within a study to come through into the analysis and the viewer’s/reader’s affective experience. This is often difficult to come by in more scientifically-driven research approaches.

2 thoughts on “On Sensuous Methodologies in Qualitative Research

  1. This is really interesting – to read about your work. I am just about to start an arts-led Phd to explore how connective aesthetic processes from the framework of Social Sculpture (a term coined by Joseph Bueys) may widen the way we look at issues in healthcare. I’m a medic but have chosen to explore this from my arts position to allow an approach which is broader than a strict scientific ‘discipline’. I would be interested to read your work.
    Best wishes,
    Helena Fox
    helenafox@wordpress.com
    Psychiatrist, London and Social Sculpture Research Unit Oxford Brookes

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>