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Transcript of Performance Ethnography-MIG
an info-graphic presentation
created by Katy Whitfield
CTL1041H: Research Methods in Education Defining Performed Ethnography Ethnographers who have done this work Sources of performance ethnography Performed ethnography is a type of research that takes ethnographic data and text and transforms it into scripts and dramas to be read aloud or shared in front of an audience as a performance.
It is also known as performance ethnography (Denizen) and ethnodrama (Saldaña)
The audience who view the performance can support or critical its analysis and contribute to the re-writing of the script.
Performance ethnography also provides a way of looking at contemporary social issues using a variety of different voices H. Brunner, Kathleen Gallagher, Tara Goldstein, Jim Mienczakowski, Heather Sykes, Norman Denizen and Johnny Saldaña the ethnographic research used to create a script.
the reading and/or performance of the play.
the follow-up conversations post-reading/performance The importance of the post-reading/performance conversations:
allows research participants, other readers or audience members to give input to the discussion of the conclusions of the research
creates opportunities for ongoing and mutual analysis
allows for creating ethical relationships between researchers, participants and communities who view the performance or hear it read and wherein the participants live and reside.
also helps to link performance to teaching and larger public forums on social issues (i.e., multilingualism, anti-racism and anti-homophobia education (Goldstein 2008, page 2) Historical background of
Performance Ethnography started in the mid-1980s and was connected to the post-modern literary turn in American anthropology
belief of the time was that ethnographers INVENT rather than REPRESENT ethnographic truths
Many questions about performance ethnography around the politics, the reliance on words and stories of the less-privileged without any benefits of authorship to the research participants who helped the anthropologist in doing their work (Goldstein 2008, page 2) Jim Clifford and Writing Culture
Clifford's work encouraged ethnographers to be more innovative, dialogic, and experimental in writing that highlights the ways ethnographies are invented by the ethnographers who write them.
he discussed the need to reflect a self-consciousness of the power and partialness of truth in the text and the world and called for ethnographers to look to "decolonize power relations inherent in the presentation of "Other" (Goldstein 2008, page 3) Dr. Tara Goldstein's Work
Goldstein tries to represent the experiences of her research participants in ways that do not reproduce the policies and practices of colonialism and racism that she is trying to challenge (Goldstein 2008, 4)
Her work also has "the power to connect to larger audiences beyond her classroom and to encourage public reflexive insight." (Goldstein 2001, 296)
Dr. Tara Goldstein has created a Selected Bibliography of Writing on Performed Ethnography and Research Informed Theatre. It can be accessed at this weblink: https://tspace.library.utoronto.ca/bitstream/1807/35214/1/Goldstein%20-%20bib%20rif%5B2%5D.pdf The elements and key players in
Performance Ethnography Ethnography is...
interpretative, subjective and value-laden (Goldstein, 294)
In a play format...
the conflicts are real, the text is transcription verbatim, BUT the characters and the plot are fictional. Performances...
"challenge, fixed, unchanging ethnographic representations of the research subjects." (Goldstein 2001, 295)
allow for changes in the acting, intonation, lighting, blocking, stage design all of which can shape the meaning differently each time the play is performed. (Goldstein 2001, 295)
are being continually rewritten and performed in response to the other's feedback Considerations for the classroom-students and teachers
Goldstein wants her work to engage teachers in critical reflection and analysis of their practice.
She is conscious of the fact that her work needs to speak TO teachers, rather than AT them (Goldstein, 296) Giving voice or keeping certain characters or issues silent
ethnographic playwrights can give voice to certain characters and stories. It is in fact more difficult to represent their research participant's silence and speechlessness. (Goldstein, 296)
Goldstein sees her work as "breathing life into the data." (Goldstein, 296)
It also gives the playwright the chance to imagine and write in collaboration with participants both about the reality and the desired circumstances Concerns relating to performance ethnography
sometimes there is tension for the researcher between their commitments and the ethical dilemmas relating to the research.
performance ethnographers who work in education need to be self-conscious of the different roles that they play as ethnographers, playwrights, and critical educators. They need to also consider the commitments they have with their research and also how the research is shared and presented Ethnographers as playwrights...
INVENT rather than REPRESENT the realities behind ethnographic data
have to evaluate the ways in which their own biases can dominate the texts and data that they are working with.
have the opportunity to control which characters and voices get to comment or be silenced Saldaña
Audiences and actors...
can enact or enlarge the identities of the characters that have been created. (Goldstein 2001, 295)
some performers believe that what they are doing on stage is "acting with a message" (Goldstein 2001, 295)
are given the opportunities to encounter different points of view and may be caused to rethink their own professional practices.
have the opportunity to consider different perspectives gives the playwright the chance to continue to re-write their work based on the responses and feedback of the audience. Additional Examples of Tara Goldstein's Performed Ethnography: Scripts, Resource Guides and video clips
Gailey Road Productions:
Harriet's House-Discussion Guide
Zero Tolerance-Script (draft 6)
"A Performance on the Pursuit of Safe Schools
Responding to the Report Road to Health by
the School Community Safety Advisory Panel (2008)." This script is based on the Falconer Report and the aftermath of the shooting of student Jordan Manners.
Tara Goldstein and Jocelyn Wickett also wrote a journal article entitled:" Zero Tolerance
A Stage Adaptation of an Investigative Report on School Safety." Qualitative Inquiry
Volume 15 Number 10. December 2009 1552-1568. © 2009 Sage Publications. 10.1177/1077800409343069 (can be accessed via the U of T Library) A video example of an Ethnodrama by students referred to as the WLTD Seniors (2009) based on real interviews. The production is posted on Youtube and is called: "Never Easy."
I have posted the three video clips for you to watch.
The storyline is about the choices that young men have to make around gangs, drugs and school. Theoretical Frameworks-questions, claims, beliefs in connection with Performed Ethnography (based on Kathleen Gallagher's keynote at IDIERI 2003 wherein she discusses the location the drama education and its place within the theoretical and methodological terrains of educational research)
Using Hatch's (2002) framework she outlines how different theorists' methodologies will influence how they do their qualitative research with drama education
Positivists will ask the question "what can be known about the teaching, learning and creative contexts and what signals are there of its 'true nature'?" They will look for the truth of the drama and of the experiences of the research participants, that they believe that can observe.
Constructivists will assume that any of the absolute realities of the research are unknown and that our knowledge will be constructed by the participants in the drama who themselves are also created by the social milieu. As researchers they will construct the reality and see the pedagogy of the experience as a negotiated practice.
Post-Positivists will work to capture "close approximations of reality (even thought it cannot be fully captured". They believe that any claim to grab on to the true and complete meaning of the drama is futile.
Critical, Feminist and Queer theorists will acknowledge the historical structures that impact on the lives and aesthetic knowledge of the participants. They will look at the blurred lines between the performances of every day lives and the fictional lives that they role-play. they will see how pedagogy plays a role in the social justice work of the performance
Post-structuralists will support the argument that there are multiple realities with its own claims which exists in the discourses that make sense of our lives and are represented in the texts. They will see theatre as being fragmented and representing shifting realities, identities and discourses of those who make it so.
Gallagher. 2004. "The Art and Politics of Qualitative Research in Drama," page 5. Works cited and consulted
Gallagher, K. (2004). The Art and Politics of Qualitative Research in Drama Education:
Creating Culture, Representing 'Reality'. Drama Research. Volume 4 (1): 3-18.
Goldstein, T. (2008) Performed Ethnography: Possibilities, Multiple Commitments, and the Pursuit of Rigour. In Gallagher, K. (Ed.). The Methodological Dilemma: Critical, Creative, and Post-Positivist Approaches to Qualitative Research.
New York, NY: Routledge, pp.85-102.
Goldstein, T. (2010). Snakes and Ladders: A Performed Ethnography. International Journal of Curriculum and Pedagogy 3(1): 68-113.
Goldstein, T. with Wickett, J. (2009). Zero Tolerance: A stage adaptation of an investigative report on school safety. Qualitative Inquiry 15 (10): 1552-1568.
JaeXcore2007 (2009, May 9) WLTD Seniors: "Never Easy" Ethnodrama Performance Part 1."Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=6c1uBZIo4Tg
JaeXcore2007 (2009, May 9) WLTD Seniors: "Never Easy" Ethnodrama Performance Part 2." Retrieved from www.youtube.com/watch?v=gf7M0M7g_ys
JaeXcore2007 (2009, May 9) WLTD Seniors: "Never Easy" Ethnodrama Performance Part 3." Retrieved from watch?v=06Y1kvVA0G4