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Title: The lived experience of the popular music festival-goer
Author: Jackson, Caroline
ISNI:       0000 0004 5351 155X
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2014
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This study provides an in-depth understanding of the lived experience of people that attended a popular music festival in the UK. The research is grounded in the philosophical roots of both experience and descriptive phenomenology. Phenomenological research is about “going back to people’s specific experiences and letting the concepts come from there” (Todres and Holloway 2010, p183). The research used Giorgi’s descriptive phenomenological method (1985, 2009). Giorgi’s method is based on the early twentieth century philosopher Husserl’s scientific approach to developing phenomenology. Giorgi (2009) offers a robust process for analysing situated experiences that gives a clear insight into a phenomenon. Ten interviews with festival-goers who went to the Isle of Wight Festival in June 2011 were conducted. Using Giorgi’s method, the participants’ words were transformed into meaning units, which then underwent a process of descriptive analysis. This involved scientific phenomenological reduction using free imaginative variation. The constituent parts of the experience were identified and used to set out, what Husserl (1982 [1925]) defines as the morphological essence of the experience. This was achieved by formulating an invariant structure that eidetically captured the phenomenon of the popular music festival experience. The constituents discovered to form the structure of the phenomenon, that is the lived popular music festival experience, can be drawn as polar opposites. However the nature of the experience is more about the mixed valence of emotions rather than the bipolar explanation of concepts such as reversal theory. This resonates with the critical theories of leisure, especially that of freedom and constraint and the need to accept negative as well as positive emotions in a holistic view of the experience. Stebbins (2006, 2011) may refer to leisure studies as the 'happy science', but the research not only identified the highs experienced by the participants but also their depths of despair. The social aspect was found to be important, as festival-goers experienced both a sense of communitas and of personal angst and enmity in relation to others. Finally, whilst hedonistic behaviour led to a sense of heightened excitement and euphoria, it also engendered shock and concern over the extent of some deviant behaviour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available