Social Change and Wellbeing (SCWB)

Critical Community and Disability Studies Research Group

RESEARCH STRAND 3: PLACE, CREATIVITY AND ACTIVITY

Members: Gardener, Goodley, Howarth, Kagan, Kilroy, Lawthom, Siddiquee, Sixsmith

Contact person: Rebecca Lawthom

This research strand provides an interdisciplinary place for the research of creativity – ranging from positive psychology through to active participation in the performing and visual arts – and its connection with health and social change. Researchers work alongside arts practitioners. Activity encompasses evaluation of arts provision in health care and community settings; participation in the arts and its impact on experiences of work; notions of embodiment and creativity and developments in positive psychology.A parallel connected interest relates to place, physical activity and its relationship to well being. Funding has been obtained from a variety of sources including Treasury’s Invest to Save, ARHB, HEFCE and LEAs.

PROJECT AREAS

(a) Arts for health
RIHSC’s inter-disciplinarity is highlighted well by this research area which explores the relationship between the arts and mental & physical health. The work ranges from evaluation of arts in healthcare settings, to performing arts relationship with the self-determination of people with learning disabilities as well as wider concerns about how we can rigorously and meaningfully evaluate the impact of the arts on well-being.

Project example:
Developing an evaluation methodology
an evaluation of six different arts for health projects as part of a large research and development project stimulating the growth and understanding of arts for health.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Project example:
Evaluation of a participatory arts programme.
The project explored different ways of evaluating linked participatory arts projects in terms of their impact on wellbeing.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Performing arts and people with learning difficulties
examined the impact of performing arts on the life chances of people with earning difficulties.
Contact Dan Goodley.

(b) Embodied mind, creativity and wellbeing .
This emerging research area brings together interests in positive psychology with the use of phenomenological methods that promote an investigation of well-being’s embodied nature. Many of the projects are currently being developed though supported by a growing supporting literature from colleagues.

Project example:
Creativity and transformation –
the development of a body of work by colleagues which aims to lay out theoretical and foundational resources.
Contact John Haworth.

Research projects under development:

Joy at work: singing in the workplace – this is a pilot project developing a methodology for assessing the impact of singing workshops for wellbeing at work.
Contact Carolyn Kagan.

Transformations of Identity: the case of Community Radio . - A bid is in for funding to explore the impact of participation in community radio for identity and wellbeing.
Contact Rebecca Lawthom.

Music and wellbeing – an interdisciplinary group form a number of different universities is meeting in a series of roundtables to develop joint projects.
Contact Rebecca Lawthom.

A day in the week in the life…a photo-ethnography project – 12 researchers are replicating an experiential time sampling method of data collection, using digital photography, in order to compose a summary of the collective experience of one week’s living in 2007.
Contact John Haworth.

Sport, leisure and outdoor pursuits – A group of researchers interested in social science aspects of sport and physical activity, in the context of community development, leisure and coaching.
Contact Rick  Fenoglio

(c) Urban regeneration and well being
Urban regeneration remains a key concern of community psychologists. Projects include participatory action research; multi-disciplinary teams arranged around research, consultation and dissemination activities. Funding comes from a variety of sources including local authorities, ARHB

Project example:
Understanding Health and Well-Being within the context of Urban Regeneration: A Participatory Action Research Approach.
Funded by HEFCE Urban Regeneration: Making a Difference this utilises action in order to promote social and personal change.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Health & Wellbeing in the context of Urban Regeneration –
Sister project to above Funded by HEFCE, Urban Regeneration: Making a Difference.
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Project example:
Adults, children and regeneration –
two projects exploring (1) the case of New East Manchester (funded by New East Manchester) and (2) Children’s Well-Being in Schools (funded by Wigan LEA).
Contact Judith Sixsmith.

Research projects under development:

Exploring urban and rural lives of disabled people – exploring Cornwall and Manchester .
Contact Dan Goodley.