This collection contains the Doctoral and Masters by Research theses produced within the department.

Recent Submissions

  • A New Conceptual Framework for Understanding and Doing Brand Placement: Applicable to Televised Drama on a Cross Cultural Approach

    Duffett, Mark; Waller, Rhian; Charles, Alec; Hart, Chris; Özbay, Burcu (University of Chester, 2023-05)
    Product placement, which can also be referred to as “brand integration” or “brand placement”, is perceived as an “alternative” method to traditional advertising among practitioners and scholars due to its significant advantages over traditional advertising e.g., the hidden nature of it. This multifaceted practice of product placement, which can be found in various platforms and forms, is an under-researched phenomenon outside the United States. Although it attracts considerable attention from academics, further research is needed, as the majority of studies in existence tend to focus on the United States and take an audience-centred approach to the practice. Furthermore, the research area of existing research tends to revolve around the practice within movies. In contrast, this cross-cultural research analyses product placement practices from the perspective of form on the screen to gain a more in-depth understanding of brand placement in televised drama / soap operas. It employs a hybrid quantitative and qualitative content analysis and case studies to draw a comparison between contrasting national contexts, Turkish and British, to reveal the international differences in the forms of brand placement and map out all observed forms of product placement. Furthermore, this thesis assesses which forms of product placement are used in well-known successful examples of product placement from the USA. Based on the analysis of product placement practices in the UK, Turkey and the USA, this thesis proposes a conceptual framework that demonstrates successful forms of brand placement, and the differences in practices in the UK, Turkey and the USA. This framework also highlights the forms which are common across all three nations, and thus hypothesises the forms which should be used when developing a placement which can be effective internationally. The data, collected during the content analysis, was from four soap operas: Coronation Street, Emmerdale, Cesur ve Güzel, and İçerde. Twenty-five episodes from each were examined. The findings reveal that there are distinct differences between the placement practices used in the United Kingdom and those used in Turkey. Notably, placements in the Turkish soap operas are much more prominent, appearing more frequently in the foreground of scenes and often feature high levels of plot connection and character interaction, whereas placements in the British soap operas tend to be featured in the background of scenes, typically featuring low levels of plot connection or character interaction. Eight well-known successful examples of product placement within eight different television series from the USA were analysed. All featured high levels of character interaction, plot connection, and prominence. Most also featured verbal cues including characters expressing their opinions about a brand / product. Whilst it could be argued that British culture is more akin to American culture, the practices observed in the Turkish soap operas are closer to those observed in the well-known successful examples, which are all from American television content. Key Words: Advertising, Product Placement, Brand Placement, Turkish Television, British Television, Comparative Content Analysis, Case Studies, and Soap Operas.
  • In corpore sano, acta non verba: permanent performance under precariousness

    Johnson, Paul; Wall, Tony (University of Chester, 2022-05)
    Performance art is a passionate objection to how contemporary work damages people and planet through a constant drive to perform. I examine this phenomenon using a provocative practice-as-research methodology which imbricates theory and performance autoethnography with art making and documenting. Findings are derived through artworks involving blood toxins, a discarded turkey body, 500 Financial Times newspapers, life-threatening blood pressure readings, apples, 101 Google translations, fish, governmental grand narratives, cola jus, tea cakes pressed by a person with diabetes, collective balloon popping, binary code poetry, a 7.5 hour-long performance appraisal, and hope. I argue that practice-as-research is, in itself, a compositional strategy for precariousness and that it can temporarily pause the constant drive to perform.
  • An Analytical Methodology for the Investigation of the Relationship of Music and Lyrics in Popular Music

    Sproston, Darren; Dee, Alex (University of Chester, 2021-03)
    This thesis details the conception and design of a new methodology for examining pop songs holistically; considering both music and lyrics and examining the synergies between the two. Central to this methodology is the application of a data extraction framework, which has been designed to mine information about musical and lyrical phenomena. This framework operates as a common source for producing data about two very different media, avoiding individual interpretation where this is possible. The methodology has been designed to address specific questions about the relationship between music and lyrics, but the main purpose of the thesis is to evaluate the usefulness of the endeavour. In order to examine the efficacy of this approach, the framework was used to populate a dataset made up of a sample of 300 songs, which was subsequently explored and analysed through a series of case studies which investigate combinations of metrics concerned with music and lyrics for the whole sample, as well as analysis of specific subsets defined by a range of parameters. These case studies have demonstrated the various ways this approach might be used, as well as working as proof of concept. The conclusion of the thesis reviews the various case studies in the context of presenting potential uses of the framework as a tool and the broader methodology by other scholars. There is also a consideration of how the overall data might be affected by the inclusion of genres and styles that are not included in the initial sample set.
  • John Bull’s Other Ireland: Manchester-Irish Identities and a Generation of Performance

    Harrop, Peter; O'Sullivan, Brendan M. (University of Chester, 2017-05)
    This thesis provides an auto-ethnographically informed ‘making strange’ of the mise-en-scène of Irish working class domesticity in the North West of England as it was lived during the 1960s, 1970s and into the 1980s. The liminality of being a child of migrant parents is considered and the interstices of experience and identity in and of England and Ireland, Englishness and Irishness are explored. The first chapter of the thesis draws the reader into the initial frame of reference, the personal childhood ethnography that inspired this wider study, and considers Bhabha’s ‘shadow of the nation’ falling ‘on the condition of exile’ as one context for the development of individual identities. The second chapter examines the ways in which a performance studies approach provides a useful method for interrogating matters of place, personhood and citizenship whilst the third chapter introduces performance theory as a mechanism for exploring the ways in which quotidian and cultural performance have been harnessed as tools of negotiation. These are sometimes resistant, sometimes affirmative and sometimes celebratory acts in the construction of new identities. Ongoing performances reveal the embodied histories of individual performers, shaped in part by culture and memory, masking and unmasking to both construct and reveal layered identities. The fourth chapter, provides the most obvious example of traditional fieldwork, and draws on interview extracts to provide key insights into aspects of the diasporic context, identifying and analyzing the many rehearsal and performance opportunities provided by growing up in Irish households in England, where identities were initially formed, informed, and performed. Bridging the distinction between autoethnography, performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance, this chapter engages in discussion with a range of contributors defamiliarising the domestic mise-en-scène whilst simultaneously recognizing a commonality of experience. These interviews are themselves a celebration of Irish identity performance and form an important bridge between the theoretical framework explored in the opening chapters and the subsequent case studies. The final section of the thesis searches out a mirroring of these processes in the construction of theatrical and mediatised performance – providing opportunities to both utilize and observe performance ethnography and the ethnography of performance. It is suggested that Terry Christian provides an affirmative yet angry celebration in a complex performed response to a complex mise-en-scène. A new reading of Steve Coogan’s work then suggests three modes of performance: first, Coogan the outsider satirises British mores; second, Coogan plays sophisticated games of revealing and masking multiple versions of self; third, a searching and ultimately serious engagement with his engagement with Ireland. The application of a performance theory perspective, in the context of this fraction of the Irish diaspora, reveals a playful and generous spirited approach to complex and serious matters of identity and place in the world – to the ways in which lives are led and meanings made through and for the generation of performance.
  • From dance cultures to dance ecology: a study of developing connections across dance organisations in Edinburgh and North West England, 2000 to 2016

    Harrop, Peter; Pattie, David; Jamieson, Evelyn (University of Chester, 2016-12-15)
    The first part of this thesis provides an autobiographical reflection and three contextualising histories to illustrate the increasing codification of late twentieth century UK contemporary dance into discrete cultures. These are professional contemporary dance and professional performance, dance participation and communitarian intervention, and dance as subject for study and training. The central section of the thesis examines post-millennial reports and papers by which government, executives and public sector arts organisations in both England and Scotland have sought to construct and steer dance policy toward greater collaborative connections on financial and ideological grounds. This is contrasted with a theoretical consideration of collaboration drawing on a range of academic approaches to consider the realities and ideals of creative and artistic collaboration and organisational collaboration. Finally, the thesis draws together these historical, theoretical and policy driven considerationsin a series of six case studies to establish the network of connections. Two professional contemporary artists and companies, two community dance organisations and two education departments (one of each from Edinburgh, Scotland and one of each from the North West of England) are scrutinised to assess the challenges, tensions and opportunities in reconciling policy driven collaboration with artistic integrity.
  • The experience and perception of duration in three contemporary performances

    Waite, Julian; Harrop, Peter; Layton, James R. (University of Chester, 2016-04)
    I argue in this thesis that qualitative duration (viewed in opposition to the construct of quantitative clock-time) can be experienced through performance encounters that challenge smooth consumption. In a socially accelerated culture, where to do more in less time is the measure of a productive life, one’s connection with the ‘real’ time of duration is diminished. To challenge this premise, I have used an autoethnographic approach to explore an experience of duration conceived via the work of French philosopher Henri Bergson, who posits that “pure duration [is that which] excludes all idea of juxtaposition, reciprocal externality, and extension” (Bergson, 1903/1999, p. 26). In other words, Bergson asserts that duration defies quantitative measurement. I argue that the Bergsonian experience of duration offers a pause from social acceleration and effects a transformation for the spectator in the form of peak-experience, flow, and communitas.
  • Music in the spaces of the 21st century

    Pattie, David; Sproston, Darren; Darlington, Bruce (University of Chester, 2016-01-31)
    Exploration of the changes modern digital technology has had on the act of engaging with music in the early 21st century.
  • Dance bands in Chester: An evolving professional network

    Southall, Helen (University of Liverpool, 2015)
    This thesis addresses the live music scene in Chester in the mid-20th Century, and in particular jazz-based styles of dance music, played for the most part by local musicians. The basis of the study is a set of interviews with musicians, promoters and fans who were all active in the Chester area during the period between 1925 and 2008, in settings ranging from military bands and youth clubs to resident dance hall bands, touring concert parties, summer season shows and radio broadcasts. Thirty interviews were undertaken, and along with many hours of taped conversation, these yielded over 200 photographs and other pieces of evidence In this thesis I have synthesised existing theoretical approaches from a number of fields to account for the large number of part-time dance-band musicians who were active in the Chester area, especially during World War II and in the decade that followed. Ideas from popular music studies and jazz studies were part of this framework, but were not sufficient, as both fields have historically had a tendency to concentrate on musicians and places considered to be highly significant or exceptionally influential, rather than routine and local. I have therefore turned to other disciplines in search of appropriate analytical approaches, and used ideas from geography, economics and sociology as alternative lenses through which to view the problem. In the process, I have shown that this dance band scene grew from the people and entertainment infrastructure of the previous, inter-war, period. In turn, the musicians, promoters and venues of the dance band scene, combined with changes in technology and society which fundamentally changed the economics of live entertainment, formed essential parts of the environment in which much better-known rock and pop musicians of the 1960s and 70s emerged and developed.
  • Evading do-re-mi: Destruction and utopia: A study of Einstürzende Neubauten

    Pattie, David; Shryane, Jennifer (University of Liverpool (University of Chester)Published as Blixa Bargeld and Einstürzende Neubauten: German experimental music (Ashgate, 2011), 2009)
    This thesis represents the first comprehensive examination in English of the work of the Berlin-based music collective, Einstürzende Neubauten. It intends to offer evidence that the sonic forays of this group have not only defined a particular cultural moment but have also created new musical possibilities (to appropriate words from Brandon LaBelle). It does this by investigating why the work of these musicians is important within contemporary music, what cultural concerns their music reflects and how the music is created, performed and disseminated. These questions are explored through a range of contexts, including post-war Berlin, Germany’s problematic relationship with music, the development of Musique Concrète, Noise/Music and strategies for creative independence. There is a detailed analysis of Neubauten’s performance and textual techniques. This thesis argues that Einstürzende Neubauten are one of the few examples of ‘rock-based’ artists who have been able to sustain a breadth and depth of work over a number of years while remaining experimental and open to development; that their work offers evidence that they are one of the most complete examples of Artaudian practice in contemporary performance and that their Supporter Initiative (2002-2007) provided a unique working strategy for independence of the consumerist model of music. Finally, it argues that their work helps to present the case for the re-evaulation of European, non-English language contemporary music. Note -this version contains German spellings, corrected after final submission at the author's request.