Media Art and Design Research Blog

Research Seminar: Dr Rob McPherson 12 December 2018.


Research Seminar: Dr Rob McPherson 12 December 2018.

Dr Robert McPherson will be delivering a paper on his Chicago-School-style research into the night-time economy.

Canterbury Christ Church University
Powell Building – Pg06
North Holmes Road Campus

School of Media Art and Design
Research Seminars 2018-2019

12 December 2018

“Biography in the laboratory”:
Applying the Chicago School approach to dual researcher positionality
within the night-time economy
Speaker: Dr Robert McPherson, CCCU

This paper will present data from an ethnographic study of a city-centre pub from the dual perspective of bartender/researcher. It will focus on the position of the bartender in the context of the pub, and how this immersive position initiated subjective data focused on the biography of participants. A series of ethnographic data examples, featuring the self-titled “Rock n Roll builders” will be introduced in accordance with how the role of bartender impacted upon the role of researcher within this research scenario.

Robert’s post-graduate research was an ethnographic research project which focuses upon alcohol consumption by young adults within the Canterbury night-time economy. The research argues towards a normalisation of extreme drinking practices amongst young adults within contemporary UK society, which builds upon the drug normalisation debate which has developed since the late 1990s. The research was primarily situated within a city-centre pub, alongside a series of other locations within the night-time economy such as further pubs and bars, clubs, houses and the street. The position of bartender was exposed to dual functions (bartender – researcher) in order to utilise ethnographic research methods within the research such as participant observation and ethnographic interviews. This approach enabled an organic engagement with young adults within the leisure spaces of the Canterbury night-time economy, whereby a naturally occurring sample was identified and further ethnographic methods were utilised.

Powell Building – Pg06
North Holmes Road Campus
Email Dr Andrew Butler – – for further details

— All welcome —

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