The experience of events

Authored by: Chris Ryan

The Routledge Handbook of Events

Print publication date:  May  2020
Online publication date:  April  2020

Print ISBN: 9780367236489
eBook ISBN: 9780429280993
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9780429280993-23

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Abstract

The purpose of this chapter is to consider how events may be experienced and what determines the depth of the experience. The author has argued that at the heart of tourism research lies observation, for which participation and immersion in various activities is a requirement. Potentially therefore, an approach to research based on participant observation is auto-ethnographic, and the research outcomes are therefore to be informed not simply by observation, but also reflection upon that which is observed. Reflection in turn is informed by interpretations shaped by an immersion not only in the event observed, but in a literature about the phenomenon, and possibly all researchers should, from time to time, seek to write a reflective piece freed from the constraints of statistical exercises, because only then, possibly, may they then consider the ethics of their research processes. The auto-ethnographic approach combines the self with observations of society. This chapter is therefore offered in that vein, and seeks primarily to identify the variables that shape any experience of events. It does not seek to generalise, as experiences may be contextualised within places and times that each have their unique characteristics and thereby inhibit or constrain generalisation.

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