Professor asks tough questions of social science
The lecture saw Professor Carless use a range of storytelling and performance-based approaches to showcase research conducted through a 15 year collaboration with Dr Kitrina Douglas, now also at Leeds Beckett.
Professor Carless commented: “Through the lecture, I addressed some big questions such as: What kind of social science do our societies want – and need – in the 21st century? How might the kinds of research that support this be conducted? How can this research be shared in ways that help individuals, strengthen communities and support societies to negotiate the challenges of our times?”
WATCH David's lecture in full here:
“I felt frustrated how often these kinds of insights were excluded in traditional social science. I wanted to find ways to include the wisdom of participants’ accounts in an evocative, engaging and emotionally rich way. To do that, Dr Douglas and I have turned to storytelling, songwriting and the performing arts in an effort to reinvigorate social science and, hopefully, engage the public with our work.”
Over the past decade, David has continued to use stories both as a way of making sense of human experience and as a way of sharing research findings with others. He has used these arts-based, performative and narrative methods across diverse sport and physical activity contexts including: the role of sport and physical activity in recovery from severe mental health problems; identity development and mental health among elite and professional athletes; the value of sport and adventure activity for military personnel who have experienced physical injury and/or psychological trauma.
During his lecture, David discussed research he has undertaken with Kitrina about how physical activity and sport can be useful for people with severe and enduring mental health issues. Below is a short film from this research that Katrina made:
For further information and examples of Professor Carless’s work, please see: