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Exploring the personal identity and collaborative communitie

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Alison Mayne

on 3 November 2014

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Transcript of Exploring the personal identity and collaborative communitie

The Lady of Shalott

Exploring, in an interpretive paradigm,
women’s perceptions of identity and self-efficacy through their created works
dynamics through which women collaborate in real and virtual craft communities
craft and individual or community engagement with design
connections between practice-led design reflections on actual and virtual artefacts or social action
Research aims...
'Hidden' women?
some questions...
How does Craft operate as an expression of personal identity and voice for women – particularly ‘hidden’ individuals such as the elderly or economically deprived?
How do women Perceive skills exchange across social, geographical and generational boundaries within these groups?
how do Women use virtual crafting communities - is there is a disconnect between the hand-made and the digital worlds?
do women see crafting as socially engaged practice?
to what extent do female crafters see a contemporary relevance in their historic practices?
Research areas...
Jorgensen, 2006
Crafting is acknowledged “as a strategy to examine and challenge contemporary issues” (Black and Burisch, 2010, p.610) from the Greenham Common anti-war protests or artist Marianne Jorgensen’s ‘Pink Tank’ (Jorgensen, 2006).

Here, each square "acts as a stand in for a signature" (Black and Burisch, 2010, p.611)in a defiantly public petition.

Self-expression and social action
Salvation Army collections
Rich cultural knowledge exchanges often occur not in official spaces such as museums and galleries but in local, socially motivated groups and on-line communities facilitated through person-centred digital technologies (McLuhan, 1967; Gauntlett, 2011).

How is the amateur, rather than the artist, making meaning through crating crafted objects - and how do women use these experiences and objects to present their personal and collective identities?

The research is of value for
community projects
community cohesion groups
widening community engagement
promoting social capital and socio-political agency
representation of gender identity and craft in heritage institutions
exploring the nature of virtual connections and use of social media
Exploring the personal identity and collaborative communities of yarn-based craftswomen
Penelope and the Suitors
J. W. Waterhouse
User-centered, practice led design
Does imagery of weaving women illustrate women’s separation from the world or obedience to
a dominant patriarchy(Canevaro, 2013)?

Or can we also see a history of subverting masculine control through thread and yarn-based crafts, celebrating the
"breadth of women's
(Parker, 2010, p.200)
Some historic background
Combating isolation through sharing...
Lippard, (1978) posits that women’s focus on domestic craft was “engendered by isolation within a particular space and by the emphasis on cleaning and service” (p.486) .

Combating such isolation was attained through communication such as sharing craft patterns and thereby fulfilling an “emotional necessity to make connections” (ibid., p.487) with other women.
Researcher contribution
‘Craft’ and social action can be observed in current community projects including Pam Kirk’s commemorative wreath to memorialise service personnel killed during the Afghanistan conflict since 2001 (Kirk, 2013, online) or the annual collaborative ‘Bead It Forward’ quilts designed to “define and celebrate women during their struggle with breast cancer” (Bead and Button, 2013, online).
Current social action through craft
Unicas Soutache necklace
Sennett (2009) and Adamson (2013) challenge that marginalised “craft, as a cultural practice, exists in opposition to the modern concept of art itself” (Adamson, 2013, p.2).

Is it misogynistic to reject crafted jewellery as adornment which “both compensates for and exposes a lack in the thing that is adorned… to tacitly admit the need for ornamentation as a means of expressing character” (ibid., p.21)?
Identity and personal adornment
On line communities
Nurture through social media

Supporting knowledge transfer online
Interpretive paradigm
The study will employ an approach based on interpretivism, based as it is on an
empathic understanding of human experience
and perceiving knowledge as personal (Bryman, 2012).

Operating within an interpretive paradigm will allow emergent theories to develop based on data.

Data will be generated through
semi-structured focus group discussions where women share their recollections and narratives
conversational analysis of dynamic groups where the linguistic corpus of female ‘crafters’ as expert and apprentice or collaborator can be examined
dynamic process where participants will influence artefacts created through research and research questions

There are potential dilemmas in the “asymmetry” (Cohen et al 2011, p.78) of a context where the researcher is “familiar with the setting and know(s) the actors within it” (Burton et al, 2009, p.54)

Confidentiality is paramount in research relationships where “trust, and the closeness it engenders, facilitates access to deeper, and perhaps taboo, layers” (Bergold and Thomas, 2012, para.105, online) as personal identity and self-expression is explored

Ethics of internet research still being explored (AOIR, 2012; Chretien & kind, 2013; Hofmyer, 2014; light & mcgrath, 2010)

Feminist qualitative research methods will redress the ‘asymmetry’ of power in research practice, focusing on exploring female experience with “conscious partiality” (Mies, 1993, p.68).

How do individual and collaborative groups of women in different contexts take “pleasure in the process, not the product… [in] the finding of form for thought” (Gauntlett, 2011, p.76) and providing a vehicle for “recognition of the feelings they may have felt in the process of creation” (ibid.)
How do women attribute meaning to the things they make and how are their behaviours and actions aligned to those of others in the group (Cohen et al, 2011; Bryman, 2012).

Feminist methodologies I
There is an overt focus on the masculine in Sennett’s (2009)‘
The Craftsman
’, with chapter titles such as ‘Arousing Tools’ (p.194) and an extended celebration of the “sublime” screwdriver (ibid., p.195).
For Sennett, “craftwork focuses on objects in themselves and on impersonal practices” (ibid., p.288) and sees a focus on subjective processes as opening up the possibilities of a Pandora-like destructiveness.
Instead, Sennett rejects connection with the personal and rather analyses the “perfection and skill in craft through being a ‘thing’ rather than a physical person” (ibid., p.174)

Feminist methodologies I

AHRC (2014) Social Design Futures [online] Available at: https://mappingsocialdesign.files.wordpress.com/2014/10/social-design-report.pdf

AOIR (2010) Ethical Decision-Making and Internet Research: Recommendations from the AoIR Ethics Working Committee (Version 2.0) Available at: http://aoir.org/reports/ethics2.pdf

Bergold, J. and Thomas, S. (2012). Participatory Research Methods: A Methodological Approach in Motion. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 13 (1). Art. 30 [online]. Available at: http://www.qualitative-research.net/index.php/fqs/article/view/1801/3334.

Bryman, A. (2012) Social Research Methods. 4th edn. Oxford University Press: Oxford.

Burton, N., Brundrett, M. and Jones, M. (2009) Doing your education research project. SAGE: London

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011) Research methods in education. 7th edn. London: Routledge.

Chretien, K. C. and KIND, T. (2013). Social Media and Clinical Care Ethical, Professional, and Social Implications. Circulation, 127 (13), 1413-1421

Gauntlett, D. (2011) Making is Connecting: The Social Meaning of creativity, from DIY and knitting to You Tube and Web 2.0. Cambridge: Polity.

Hofmyer, B. (2014). Is Facebook Effacing the Face? Reassessing Levinas's Ethics in the Age of Social Connectivity (vol 2, pg 119, 2014). Filozofia, 69 (3), 292-292

Jenkins, C. (2013) ‘Casting Off My Womb’ [online] Available at: http://casey-jenkins.com/casting-off-my-womb

de Laine, M. (2000) Fieldwork, Participation and Practice: Ethics and Dilemmas in Qualitative Research SAGE: London.

Light,B. and McGrath,K. (2010) Ethics and social networking sites: a disclosive analysis of Facebook. Information Technology & People, 23 (4), 290-311

McLuhan, M. and Fiore, Q. (2008) The Medium is the Massage: An Inventory of Effects. Penguin. London.

Mies, M. (1993) ‘Towards a methodology for feminist research’ in Hammersley, M. (ed.), Social research: Philosophy, politics and practice. SAGE: London.

Smith,H. and Dean,R. (eds.) (2009) Practice –Led Research, Research-Led Practice in the Creative Arts. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh.

Researcher practice
Focus on co-design with community partners and with groups / individuals through fora such as facebook

'enhancing and celebrating the role of the creative arts in its contribution to social wellbeing' (AHRC, 2014)

challenges of anticipating unexpected impacts and outcomes in a qualitative research model which embraces co-design – of artefacts and research questions – with participants

E.g. practice-led research into attitudes towards the body through representations of the breast in crochet or knitting
The Lady of Shalott looking at Lancelot
J. W. Waterhouse
Suffragists' banner - June 1908
Jenkins, 2013
To explore the connection between self and craft through thread and yarn based creativity and its “habitual association of … women’s work” (Jenkins, 2013, online).

To explore and facilitate users' connection with the capacity for craft’s “transformative impact on the sense of self” (Gauntlett, 2011, p.ix).

Researcher as ‘
observer’ in the spirit of ethnographic research – "
being with
the other" (de Laine, 2000, p.16) through informed involvement in real and virtual social community groups.

Feminist methodologies II
Smart Sewing Magazine, 1954
Jenkins, 2013
Iterative Cyclic Web of Practice-led Research and Research-led Practice, (Smith & Dean, 2009, p. 20)
Private sphere / public sphere?

Grey areas between sphere as crafters use social media to make connections when working alone
Full transcript