Participatory Research: Case study of a community event
MetadataShow full item record
Finkel R., & Sang K. (2016) Participatory Research: Case study of a community event. In: Lamond I. R., Platt L. (eds.) Critical Event Studies: Approaches to Research. Leisure Studies in a Global Era. London: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 195-211.
This chapter explores participatory research from a post-structuralist philosophical perspective. Rooted in the anthropological tradition (see Geertz 1975), participatory research involves the researcher immersing himself or herself into the culture of the group being studied. Put simply, it is utilised as a methodological approach when the researcher wants to discover what people do and why they do it from their own perspective. Further, participatory research views research participants as experts in the field of study and, as such, should co-design research projects from inception through to completion (Gyi et al., 2013). This can be applied to events studies by examining the culture of the event through observation, participation and other sensory and visual techniques. The 'group' and 'culture' being examined are the events audiences and environment. Although temporary in nature, anthropological and sociological frameworks can still apply. This has been successfully done in multiple events studies through the years (see Finkel 2006; Holloway et al. 2010; Goldblatt 2013) and can be considered a viable and useful methodological approach for events researchers and students to employ for impactful and relevant research; therefore, readers of this volume would benefit from its analysis. The case study presented will be based on ethnographic research conducted at the Balerno Farmers' Market (located in Edinburgh, Scotland), which is based on observations of the market, collection of visual data including photos of both stalls and visitors' experiences, and the researchers' personal observations. The authors believe this is an apt and accessible example for demonstrating this kind of methodology, as it is a community event which highlights the societal, economic as well as cultural dimensions and discourses of events studies. It also democratises the research process; research is done with participants, rather than 'on' a community. References Finkel, R. 2006. Unicycling at Land's End: Case Study of the Lafrowda Festival of St Just, Cornwall. In J. Ali-Knight and D. Chambers (eds.) Case studies in festival and event marketing and cultural tourism. Leisure Studies Association Journal, 2 (92), 129-145. Geertz, S. 1975. The interpretation of cultures. London: Hutchinson and Co. Goldblatt, J. 2013. Events and Management. In Finkel, R., McGillivray, D., McPherson, G., Robinson, P. (eds.) Research Themes for Events. Oxford: CABI. Gyi, D., Sang, K., and Haslam, C. 2013. Participatory ergonomics: co-developing interventions to reduce the risk of musculoskeletal symptoms in business drivers.Ergonomics,56 (1), 45-58. Holloway, I., Brown, L., Shipway, R. 2010. Meaning not measurement: Using ethnography to bring a deeper understanding to the participant experience of festivals and events. International Journal of Event and Festival Management, 1 (1), 74-85.