Kavanagh, Katharine

Kavanagh, Katharine
Start date:
October 2018
Research Topic:
What Is So Special About The Circus: Mediating the Divide Between Elite and Populist Values
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr Amanda Potts
Supervising school:
School of English, Communication & Philosophy,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

My proposed research will explore the potential for a bridging communicative stance that can allow for more effective communication between elite and populist discourse communities, using for its case study reports on the experience of circus-based performing arts events.

A multi-methodology approach will draw from the fields of Audience Research and Corpus-based Discourse Analysis, examining evaluative language use in corpora of ‘legitimate’ public texts (publicity materials and published reviews), and transcripts of ‘lay’ audience member responses (from focus group activity with circus attendees).

The thesis will highlight and address any issues of conflict between the value systems of text producers and target audiences, laying groundwork for more effective communication strategies to be developed that integrate multiple value systems.

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About Katharine Kavanagh

Katharine Kavanagh is funded by ESRC for a PhD in Cardiff University's School of English, Communication and Philosophy. Her research draws on Audience Research and Discourse Analysis methods to investigate the relationship between publicly disseminated and personally experienced values regarding circus performance. Twitter @BustingFree