411.2 Playing for life: Reflecting on participatory video to research youth music and media practices

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 4:27 PM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Geraldine BLOUSTIEN , Hawke Research Institute, University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia
Once I feel myself observed by the lens, everything changes: I constitute myself in the process of ‘posing’, I instantaneously make another body for myself, transform myself in advance into an image. (Barthes 1982: 10-11)

Engaging participants directly with the processes of selection and creation of their video footage, its editing and distribution, as part of a comprehensive ethnographic research strategy, has the potential to reveal valuable new insights. However, perhaps even more importantly, the processes of gaining such knowledge can produce creative pedagogic sites in their own right. The shared, informed conversations which evolve through the inevitable affective process of ongoing contestation and negotiation, challenge conventional understandings of the relationship between the researcher and the researched and any notion of the objective and subjective divide. The processes also provide valuable perspectives on how knowledge is sourced and legitimated in the first place, in other cultural contexts. This paper draws on a number of longitudinal case studies from Australia, the UK, Europe and the US (Bloustien and Peters 2011; Bloustien 2012) to consider the significance and the efficacy of PV methodology to explore young people's out of school creative arts and music practices as strategic pathways to agency, employment and socio-economic inclusion.


Barthes, R.  (1982) Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography. London: J. Cape. pp.10–11.

Bloustien, G. and Peters. M. (2011). Youth Music and Creative Cultures: Playing for Life. London: Palgrave –Macmillan.

Bloustien, G. (2012, in press). “It’s a bit like Making a Big Brother Movie isn’t it?” Play, Affect and Participatory Video as a Reflexive Research Strategy’ in Milne, E-J., Mitchell, C., & deLange, N. 2012. The Handbook of Participatory Video. Lanham, MD, USA: AltaMira Press.