Development of Arts-based Research in Japan: Problems and Possibilities in the Field of Sociology

Conference: The Kyoto Conference on Arts, Media & Culture (KAMC2021)
Title: Development of Arts-based Research in Japan: Problems and Possibilities in the Field of Sociology
Stream: Sociology
Presentation Type: Virtual Presentation
Alena Prusakova, Keio University, Japan


This presentation will explore the possibilities of applying arts-based research (ABR) methods to the field of sociology, with a focus on film and photography. Defined by Patricia Leavy (2017) as a "transdisciplinary approach to knowledge building that combines the tenets of the creative arts in research contexts", in recent years, arts-based research has expanded beyond the field of educational research, where the term has been first coined in the early 90s. Although mainly gathering participants and audience overseas, arts-based research now rapidly attracts the attention of researchers in Japan - an exploration of such methods can be seen in the fields of education, psychology, sociology, and by the artists as well. Since 2017, the team of researchers from Keio University (KeioABR) has been applying various arts-based research methods to sociology: street performance, novel writing, drama, sound and video installations, etc. However, despite sociology paying close attention to the art, and previously welcoming its methods to the field (ex. video sociology, photography, autoethnography), in Japan, there is a hesitation to accept arts-based research as a new methodology – now there are limited ways to create such work, and even fewer ways to present it to the audience, within or outside the academy. This presentation will overview the development of arts-based research in Japan and give examples of previous works, then continue to the identifying main reasons for its slow development and will end with exploring the future possibilities of collaboration between art and sociology.

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Irina Stanova
Thank you very much for the presentation! It was really interesting to learn about this type of research and to see a concrete example thereof. All the best with the continuation of your PhD studies.
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