Making Sense of Collective Events: The Co-creation of a Research-based Dance


  • Katherine Boydell University of New South Wales



collective events, arts-based qualitative health research, generic social processes


A symbolic interaction (BLUMER, 1969; MEAD, 1934; PRUS, 1996; PRUS & GRILLS, 2003) approach was taken to study the collective event (PRUS, 1997) of creating a research-based dance on pathways to care in first episode psychosis. Viewing the co-creation of a research-based dance as collective activity attends to the processual aspects of an individual's experiences. It allowed us to study the process of the creation of the dance and its capacity to convert abstract research into concrete form and to produce generalizable abstract knowledge from the empirical research findings. Thus, through the techniques of movement, metaphor, voice-over, and music, the characterization of experience through dance was personal and generic, individual and collective, particular and trans-situational. The dance performance allowed us to address the visceral, emotional, and visual aspects of our research which are frequently invisible in traditional academia. URN:


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Author Biography

Katherine Boydell, University of New South Wales

Katherine M. BOYDELL is Senior Scientist in the Learning Institute and Scientific Director of Qualitative Inquiry in Child Health Evaluative Sciences at The Hospital for Sick Children and Associate Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, Canada.




How to Cite

Boydell, K. (2011). Making Sense of Collective Events: The Co-creation of a Research-based Dance. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 12(1).