The Hobbit International Research Project

Are you a Tolkien fan? Did you enjoy the Lord of the Rings films? What do you think of The Hobbit films? Join in with thousands of others and share your thoughts in this massive international survey!

From Dr. Martin Barker, one of the lead researchers on the project, who previously oversaw a similar project on the Lord of the Rings films:

“In December 2014, the most ambitious film audience research project yet undertaken launched.  Based on research groups in 46 countries, and operating in over 30 languages, the World Hobbit Project has set itself the challenge of answering a series of difficult research questions.

With minimal research funding (just enough from the UK’s British Academy to create the complex website, multi-language questionnaire and associated database), we are totally dependent on our ability to use online means to reach a wide range of people around the world.  Our survey went online at: www.worldhobbitproject.org from the day of the premiere.

What questions are we hoping to be able to answer, and what discussions do we hope we will be able to contribute to?

Very many – but not a fixed list of hypotheses.  We will be gathering a range of demographic data (age, sex, country, education, occupation, etc).  We will be asking a series of orientation questions (designed to show patterns in responses, kinds of evaluation, modal questions about the kind of story The Hobbit is seen to be, etc.).  We will be probing how people watch (and like to watch) a film of this kind, and what else they do in connection with watching it (reading the book, taking part in online discussions, following particular stars, etc.).

Crucially, the survey is designed on the principle of linked quantitative and qualitative questions, so that when people position themselves on scales we have generated, they are then asked to say in their own words what that positioning means – so that we can analyse and look for responses in their kinds of talk.  (This will of course be immensely challenging in that we will be working across so many languages!)  But we believe that if we can recruit a large and diverse spread of respondents, we can make contributions to many current debates: about globalisation, cultural identities, the role of online participation, changes in the role of film and cinema, and so on.

Please, help us in simple ways:

  • By completing the survey yourself, of course, if you have seen the films.
  • By passing on this information to students, colleagues, family, friends, and asking them to do the same.
  • By mentioning and pointing to the project’s address in blogs, postings, and conversations.
  • By mentioning the project and showing the link on Facebook and the like, so that it is as widely visible as we can possibly make it.”

5 thoughts on “The Hobbit International Research Project

  1. Reblogged this on Seems Obvious to Me and commented:
    Are you a Tolkien nerd? If so, Dr. Martin Barker of Aberystwyth University needs your help with his massive international survey of Lord of The Rings fans. Check out this blog post from Dr. CarrieLynn Reinhard’s site, and learn how you can participate in a huge, international research project.

    Like

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