Play-making with migrant farm workers in Ontario, Canada: a kinesthetic and embodied approach to qualitative research

Perry, J. Adam (2018) Play-making with migrant farm workers in Ontario, Canada: a kinesthetic and embodied approach to qualitative research. Qualitative Research, 18 (6). pp. 689-705. ISSN 1741-3109

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This article is a reflection on the use of theatre creation in qualitative research with migrant farm workers in Ontario, Canada. In this article I examine how the fundamentally embodied and kinesthetic dimensions of seasonal agricultural workers’ lives in Canada highlight the need to seek out and develop corresponding embodied approaches that are able to access and accurately represent the fraught and dynamic nature of workers’ experiences. I bring together ideas from both arts-informed research and participatory action research, and I examine how engaging research participants directly in collective theatre creation can effectively disrupt accepted ways of being and offer an important intervention on worker habitus. I reflect on how through incorporating an element of play-creation in the qualitative research process, I was able to a) access forms of knowledge that may otherwise have remained tacit and b) offer a disruption of the norms of isolation and antagonism endemic to daily life in Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program. This article contributes to debates concerning the role of the arts in qualitative and action research, as well as to those researchers who are seeking innovative ways of designing and implementing qualitative research in the areas of precarious work and citizenship

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 13921
Keywords: Creative methodologies, embodiment, kinesthetic inquiry, migrant workers, Theatre of the Oppressed
Department(s): Divisions > On the Move Partnership
Date: 1 January 2018
Date Type: Publication
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