Who is conducting the research?

Ann Weatherall and Bell Murphy are the Co-Principal Investigators leading the project. Ann is an adjunct professor in Psychology at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington and is based at Roehampton University, London. Bell is an accredited Empowerment Self-Defence Teacher at Kia Haumaru.

Other members of the research team include Professor Lorenza Mondada, Dr Nichola Tyler, Sarah Bowen, Hannah Aslett and Gemma Mackenzie

You can find out more about our research team here.

What does the video recording process look like?

We are video-recording self-defence classes. Our first priority is minimising the research’s impact on the class. Classes will only be recorded if all participants agree to be filmed. In addition to the trained instructor, a designated safety kaiako (teacher) may also be present to ensure participant safety.

Between 2 – 4 researchers will be on site for recording. We will explain the process before the class begins so everyone has an opportunity to ask questions. Anyone can ask for recording to stop at any point, without giving a reason. At the end of the class, we will check everyone is still happy to have the recording included in the research. Participants can also contact us up to a week after the course if they want to withdraw from the study.

During recording, we are usually located at the edges of the room and try to be as unobtrusive as possible so that participants can have fun and enjoy their self-defence class. Occasionally, one or two of the research team members might move their camera when the class configurations change, both to facilitate participant safety and optimal data capture.

What kind of equipment do you use?

We are interested in how self-defence is taught and we are not focusing on any individual. We use small consumer-grade Sony cameras. Each camera has a Røde lavalier microphone attached to it. The class instructor will normally wear a small microphone as well. Additionally, we may use a portable recorder to capture additional audio.

How will recordings be used?

Recordings will be kept confidential to the research team and safely stored on password protected servers at Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington. We will analyse the recordings using a method called conversation analysis. We are interested in what people say and do when they interact with each other. We will repeatedly watch the recordings to identify how talk and the body are used in the class as violence-prevention strategies. We will present research findings in academic settings such as conference presentations and research articles. No one will be identifiable in any data extracts we present.

Working with Kia Haumaru, we will also identify examples of good practice that can be used to train future instructors. With the permission of the course instructor and/or a school/organisation representative, these will be shared with Kia Haumaru. The aim of sharing these clips is to help instructors teach better rather than to focus on individual students. Selected clips will depict students in a good light and showing positive engagement.

What about ethics?

This research has been approved by the Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington Human Ethics Committee (ID: 0000027659). If you have any concerns about the ethical conduct of the research you may contact the Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University of Wellington HEC Convener Associate Professor Rhonda Shaw by emailing hec@vuw.ac.nz

I still have questions. Who can I contact?

We’d love to hear from you to answer any questions you may have. Please email us at talkandthebody@vuw.ac.nz .

For media enquiries, please contact Bell Murphy at bell.murphy@vuw.ac.nz

Talk and the Body

School of Psychology / Te Kura Mātai Hinengaro

Victoria University of Wellington / Te Herenga Waka
PO Box 600, Wellington 6140
Aotearoa New Zealand
www.wgtn.ac.nz | 0800 04 04 04


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