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Title: Assembling audiences
Author: Gardair, Colombine
Awarding Body: Queen Mary, University of London
Current Institution: Queen Mary, University of London
Date of Award: 2013
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Street performers have to create and manage their own performance events. This makes street performance an ideal type of situation for studying how an audience is assembled and sustained in practice. This thesis uses detailed video-based ethnographic analysis to investigate these processes in street performances in Covent Garden, London. Drawing on the performance literature, the role of the physical structure of the environment, the arrangement of physical objects within the environment and the physical placement of people are all examined. The argument of the thesis is that these analyses alone are insufficient to explain how an audience is established or sustained. Rather, an audience is an ongoing interactional achievement built up through a structured sequence of interactions between performers, passers-by and audience members. Through these interactions performers get people’s attention, achieve the recognition that what is going on is a performance, build a collective sense of audience membership, establish moral obligations to each other and the performer, and train the audience how to respond. The interactional principles uncovered in this thesis establish the audience as a social group worthy of studying in its own right, and are in support of a multiparty human-human interaction approach to design for crowds and audiences.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Performing Arts ; Performance ; Crowd psychology