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Durham University

School of Education

Research Projects

Publication details

Bagley, C. (2009). The ethnographer as impresario-joker in the (re)presentation of educational research as performance art: towards a performance ethic. Ethnography and Education 4(3): 283-300.

Author(s) from Durham


The paper reflects critically on the use of arts-based approaches to (re)present ethnographic educational research data, positing that the use of these artistic genres while creating new opportunities for engaging and enacting the complexities of twenty-first century realities also pose new challenges particularly in relation to the application of a performative methodological rigour. In engaging with this issue, the author conceptually borrows in part from Boal to situate himself as impresario-joker and through this lens reflects criticlaly on the performative process and performance ethic underpinning his work - as a non-artist researcher - to stage a piece of ethnographic educational research as performance art. The paper while supporting the potential of using the arts in the (re)presentation of ethnographic data, also acknowledges that the securing of its academic legitimacy requires the establishment of a performance ethic if it is to be taken seriously within the academy.

School of Education