Tourism Papers

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Please answer the following questions in a couple of sentences each:

1. 1. According to Barone, how is the goal of arts-based social research different from the goal of traditional research approaches, and what are some of the benefits of arts-based research?

2. 2. Autoethnography (or the ethnographic study of one’s own lived experiences) is one popular type of arts-based social research. What key difference do you notice between Tsang’s and Ellis’s styles of writing autoethnography? Which did you find more effective, and why? (Or, alternatively, you can answer that you like both for different reasons and then explain why.)

3. 3. How does drawing on the arts help Tsang and Ellis to illuminate social phenomena in a way that goes beyond what could be accomplished by traditional methods alone?

4. 4. Why does Feyerabend say that there is no such thing as a pure method for producing knowledge? What is the problem with believing that there is such a method?


Arts-Based and Traditional-Based Research

Question 1

According to Barone (1992), there is a thin line between arts-based and traditional-based research in relation to social sciences. The former involves the use of artistic processes to create an understanding of the phenomenon under study through qualitative inspiration and representation. It is primarily a qualitative process that moves away from positivism; instead, it centers its methods on postmodernism, globalization, and race theories. In contrast, traditional-based research embraces scientific methods which put forward the notion of universal facts. It focuses on obtaining truths that can be proven through examination and measurement (Barone, 1992). Even though the two methods seem to overlap, they continue to retain their distinct characteristics.

Question 2

Autoethnography is a type of arts-based social research that has evolved in both meaning and method. Tsang’s writing style entails the use of narratives as a way of writing about athletic and personal experiences (Tsang, 2000). His style mainly involves internal monologues of self-narration and subsequent explanations. This approach reveals aspects of personal identity, strategies, lessons learned from events, and the impact of sporting events. On the other hand, Ellis’s writing style incorporates detailed interviewing processes. It offers consideration of the fact that different interviewing processes, which include reflexive dyadic, interactive, and co-constructed narratives, can have different outcomes (Ellis, 1993). He uses a highly interactive writing style that creates an in-depth understanding of different cultures and social phenomena. Both writing styles are very effective in the way they implement critical socially-sensitive research mechanisms.

Question 3

Drawing on art has helped Tsang and Ellis illuminate social phenomena by creating a link between science and art in a well-defined and artistic process that creates research diversity. Traditional research tends to hinder researchers’ efforts to tap into social phenomena because of its reliance on quantitative facts whose application is constrained by existing scientific rules (Ellis, 1993). To overcome this problem, the researchers use the arts-based approach, which enables them to investigate the complex social patterns that are prevalent in the modern world.

Question 4

Feyerabend explains that there exists no pure method for producing knowledge. In his view, both scientific and non-scientific methods are dependent on each other. He explains that scientific superiority is a misconception, and goes further to give the example of Chinese knowledge and socialization which were not built around scientific facts but rather on culture, art, nature, and social structures (Feyerabend, 2010). Furthermore, he dismisses the idea of research that is based on a limited array of facts about nature. Instead, Feyerabend encourages researchers to embrace openness in the way they investigate phenomena by combining aspects of science, art, social analysis, and observation.


Barone, T. (1992). A narrative of enhanced profesionalism: Educational researchers and popular storybooks about schoolpeople. Educational Researcher, 21(9), 15-24.

Ellis, C. (1993). There are survivors: Telling a story of sudden death. Sociological Quarterly, 34(4), 711-730.

Feyerabend, P. (2010). Against method. New York, NY: Verso.

Tsang, T. (2000). Let me tell you a story: A narrative exploration of identity in high-performance sport. Sociology of Sport Journal, 17, 44-59.

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