observant participation

In this episode, we are joined by Dr. Clifton Evers. Clifton is a member of the Media, Culture, Heritage unit at Newcastle University. He joins us to discuss mobile video ethnography and his use of GoPro cameras to better capture and understand affects, emotion, and masculinity through the study of surfing. Clifton’s chapter on this topic can be found in the recently published edited volume Researching Embodied Sport: Exploring Movement Cultures

I started carrying a very old Handycam everywhere and shooting footage. I eventually got frustrated because I was stuck on land. And, what a lot of the men would speak about or what they would experience in terms of emotions, affects, and embodied experience was happening in the water. So how does one do video research in the sea?

– Clifton Evers –


In this episode, we talk with Dale C. Spencer, Assistant Professor of Sociology at the University of Manitoba. Dale joins us to discuss ethnographic research. In particular, Dale explains the value of observant participation in understanding the sensory and phenomenological experiences of becoming a mixed martial artist.

“When you are an observant participant, you are at stake. You have a vested interest in succeeding. But the reality of the matter is, you are also open, very clearly, to fail in that world.”
Dale C. Spencer-