Untitled: Women’s Work is both scholarly art and artistic research using narrative inquiry, dance and film as research methods. The research looks at the embodied experience of a group of women in the work place. Methodology for this research was to use an embodied approach across the whole research process from dancing with participants as part of the date collection process, to using choreographic tasks to analyze the data and finally using dance and film to disseminate the ‘findings’.
The research looked at the lived experience of women living and working in the Flint and Detroit areas, USA. It is an attempt to take the body and bodily experiences ‘seriously’ when we research. The research took the position that embodiment is a methodology and method for understanding the narratives of the women’s work and what makes a ‘good’ job. I saw dance and visual images as a language for communication of the ideas the research uncovered.
Data collection asked women participants what they considered makes a good job along with collecting their memories of their own working experiences (this was done through dancing together and verbal interviews). Analysis drew out two themes: relationships (developed and negotiated in the situation of work and Self), and rhythms (of Self and work institution). Initial findings presented here suggest the continual establishment, disruption, negotiation and maintenance of rhythms and relationships in the work place has an impact on what makes a ‘good’ job.
The research is part of my on-going study of how an embodied approach to the lived experience (based of Pragmatist and Phenomenological principles that place bodily experience as central to meaning making) can be embedded into the whole research process. This challenges ‘traditional’ research methods, that it could be argued, place the body as an add-on to text-based theory even when the research subject it self is about people's experiences.