In this 19-minute film two researchers who use the creative methods of ethnographic video and phenomenological creative writing discuss research methods that are characterised by an open agenda and a range of possible outcomes. Arek Dakessian and David Manderson’s conversation explores the need for researchers to get close to people’s experience of the phenomena that are being researched. Capturing the meaning of place by walking in an environment is one way in which a researcher may gain a sense of people’s lived experience, and thus provide reassurance that an account being developed has authenticity and academic credibility. Another respect in which the film-maker’s craft unexpectedly resembles that of the novelist is in not knowing at the outset where the research process will lead (although this can also be said to be true of other methods such as experiments). The conversation concludes by noting that adopting creative methods commits the researcher to the possibility of mistakes being made as imagination is followed, and these mistakes are treated as a part of the learning process.
Academics in conversation: Arek Dakessian, University of Edinburgh (webpage: http://www.sociology.ed.ac.uk/people/research_students2/arek_dakessian2) and Dr David Manderson, University of the West of Scotland (webpage: http://www.uws.ac.uk/staff-profiles/mcs/david-manderson/).