This groundbreaking book brings creative writing to social research. Its innovative format includes creatively written contributions by researchers from a range of disciplines, modelling the techniques outlined by the authors. The book is user-friendly and shows readers:
• How to write creatively as a social researcher;
• How creative writing can help researchers to work with participants and generate data;
• How researchers can use creative writing to analyse data and communicate findings.
Inviting beginners and more experienced researchers to explore new ways of writing, this book introduces readers to creatively written research in a variety of formats including plays and poems, videos and comics. It not only gives social researchers permission, but also shows them how, to write creatively.
“This book invites readers to navigate the uncharted territory where creative writing and scholarly work intersect. Nothing but inspiring, invigorating, and intriguing possibilities await those who venture in.” Patricia Goodson, Texas A&M University
“I love this book! There is so much content covered in a way that is entirely accessible and non-prescriptive. The book helps you think about creative writing and offers opportunities to practice it and see how it works for you. It will definitely be on my recommended reading list.” Nicole Brown, UCL Institute of Education
Richard Phillips is Professor of Human Geography at the University of Sheffield. He is a specialist in creative and arts-led research methodologies, which he practises in his own work and encourages students to try in the field trips he leads in cities from Liverpool to New York. Richard’s books include Georges Perec’s Geographies (2019), Fieldwork for Human Geography (2012), Sex, Politics and Empire (1996), and Mapping Men and Empire: A Geography of Adventure (1997).
Helen Kara has been an independent researcher since 1999 and specialises in research methods and ethics. She is the author of Creative Research Methods: A Practical Guide (Policy Press, 2nd ed. 2020) and Research Ethics in the Real World: Euro-Western and Indigenous Perspectives (Policy Press, 2018). Helen is an Honorary Senior Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.
Chapter One: Introduction
Synergies: Between Creative Writing and Social Research
Chapter Two: Doing Creative Writing
Doing It Yourself: Getting Started
Putting Yourself in the Picture
Observation and Description
Stories and Storying
Writing about Ideas: Essays and Lists
Doing It Yourself: Following Through
Chapter Three: Doing Research, Generating Data, Working with Participants
Getting Started: Participatory Creative Writing for Social Research
Workshops and Groups
Working with Individuals
Data and findings: Process and Product
Chapter Four: Exploring and Articulating Findings
Data Analysis Dissemination
Finding and Telling Stories: Storying
Chapter 5: Searching and Queer(ing) Writing