Meaning not measurement: Using ethnography to bring a deeper understanding to the participant experience of festivals and events

This source preferred by Richard Shipway, Immy Holloway and Lorraine Brown

Authors: Holloway, I., Brown, L. and Shipway, R.

Journal: International Journal of Event and Festival Management

Volume: 1

Pages: 74-85

DOI: 10.1108/17852951011029315

Purpose – Events research is witnessing a gradual increase in experience-related studies, reflecting a challenge to the dominance of positivist, quantitative-based studies. This purpose of this paper is to support a paradigm shift to effect a more balanced examination of events within the existing body of literature.

Design/methodology/approach – A search of events-related publications in both events and non-events journals is conducted in order to identify the level of use of the ethnographic approach by researchers in event studies. The literature on qualitative methods and on ethnography in particular is also examined, in a bid to show how ethnography can be used and how it is specifically suited to inquiry into the consumer experience of events and festivals.

Findings – Ethnography is advocated as an appropriate research approach to the events field, and this paper details the extensive potential that this approach offers. Drawing from the wider literature on ethnography, a rationale for an alternative methodology with the associated research methods of observation, interviewing and the use of documentary sources is explored and its applicability to events research is demonstrated.

Practical implications – The academic researcher is introduced to the potential offered by ethnography and is pointed in the direction of the relevant research methods literature that would equip them with the practical tools of investigation.

Originality/value – By alerting the reader to the applicability and value of ethnography, this paper aims to encourage the adoption of the ethnographic approach by event researchers. This will thereby lead to a more diverse literature on events, and will rebalance the current dominance of quantitative-based research papers, and it is for this reason that this paper makes an original contribution to knowledge in the study of events and festivals.

This data was imported from Scopus:

Authors: Holloway, I., Brown, L. and Shipway, R.

Journal: International Journal of Event and Festival Management

Volume: 1

Issue: 1

Pages: 74-85

eISSN: 1758-2962

ISSN: 1758-2954

DOI: 10.1108/17852951011029315

Purpose: Events research is witnessing a gradual increase in experience-related studies, reflecting a challenge to the dominance of positivist, quantitative-based studies. This purpose of this paper is to support a paradigm shift to effect a more balanced examination of events within the existing body of literature. Design/methodology/approach: A search of events-related publications in both events and non-events journals is conducted in order to identify the level of use of the ethnographic approach by researchers in event studies. The literature on qualitative methods and on ethnography in particular is also examined, in a bid to show how ethnography can be used and how it is specifically suited to inquiry into the consumer experience of events and festivals. Findings: Ethnography is advocated as an appropriate research approach to the events field, and this paper details the extensive potential that this approach offers. Drawing from the wider literature on ethnography, a rationale for an alternative methodology with the associated research methods of observation, interviewing and the use of documentary sources is explored and its applicability to events research is demonstrated. Practical implications: The academic researcher is introduced to the potential offered by ethnography and is pointed in the direction of the relevant research methods literature that would equip them with the practical tools of investigation. Originality/value: By alerting the reader to the applicability and value of ethnography, this paper aims to encourage the adoption of the ethnographic approach by event researchers. This will thereby lead to a more diverse literature on events, and will rebalance the current dominance of quantitative-based research papers, and it is for this reason that this paper makes an original contribution to knowledge in the study of events and festivals. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

The data on this page was last updated at 04:57 on June 24, 2019.