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Walking methods in landscape research: moving bodies, spaces of disclosure and rapport

Walking methods in landscape research: moving bodies, spaces of disclosure and rapport
Walking methods in landscape research: moving bodies, spaces of disclosure and rapport
Walking methods or accompanied visits are increasingly being used to investigate people?s encounters with landscape. Walking methods are often celebrated for opening up new spaces of disclosure, building rapport and generating new knowledge of landscape. However, stating these benefits of walking as a research method has now become somewhat of a methodological orthodoxy that risks ignoring the diverse contexts and cultural circumstances within which people walk and the relational qualities of landscape. Walking methods do not simply ?uncover? people?s responses to landscape, they open particular relational spaces of ?people-landscape?. Furthermore, walking does not just open up research avenues, it closes them down too. This paper explores in more depth these propositions and the complex interplay between people (as social and embodied beings), walking and landscape. The focus is on examples drawn from walks utilised as method, walks for pleasure and walks for pilgrimage, where I propose some features of the walk and the cultural context of the walker?s body that should be given critical consideration when adopting a walking methodology. These include: the rhythm and style of the walk, the walk route terrain and distance, and the fitness and embodied dispositions of the walker. I then question further the presumed utility of ?rapport? that leisure walks and research walks are often thought to create. In so doing, this paper offers some critical insights for researchers of landscape who are considering adopting a walking methodology
Landscape perception, walking methods, walkers, mobile methods, embodiment
0142-6397
425-432
Macpherson, Hannah
76b05dd6-a5a8-4aaf-b9b3-645f2acc857a
Macpherson, Hannah
76b05dd6-a5a8-4aaf-b9b3-645f2acc857a

Macpherson, Hannah (2016) Walking methods in landscape research: moving bodies, spaces of disclosure and rapport. Landscape Research, 41 (4), 425-432. (doi:10.1080/01426397.2016.1156065).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Walking methods or accompanied visits are increasingly being used to investigate people?s encounters with landscape. Walking methods are often celebrated for opening up new spaces of disclosure, building rapport and generating new knowledge of landscape. However, stating these benefits of walking as a research method has now become somewhat of a methodological orthodoxy that risks ignoring the diverse contexts and cultural circumstances within which people walk and the relational qualities of landscape. Walking methods do not simply ?uncover? people?s responses to landscape, they open particular relational spaces of ?people-landscape?. Furthermore, walking does not just open up research avenues, it closes them down too. This paper explores in more depth these propositions and the complex interplay between people (as social and embodied beings), walking and landscape. The focus is on examples drawn from walks utilised as method, walks for pleasure and walks for pilgrimage, where I propose some features of the walk and the cultural context of the walker?s body that should be given critical consideration when adopting a walking methodology. These include: the rhythm and style of the walk, the walk route terrain and distance, and the fitness and embodied dispositions of the walker. I then question further the presumed utility of ?rapport? that leisure walks and research walks are often thought to create. In so doing, this paper offers some critical insights for researchers of landscape who are considering adopting a walking methodology

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More information

e-pub ahead of print date: 14 April 2016
Published date: 1 May 2016
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor Francis in Landscape Research on 18/05/2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/01426397.2016.1156065
Keywords: Landscape perception, walking methods, walkers, mobile methods, embodiment

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 418924
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/418924
ISSN: 0142-6397
PURE UUID: d896a6eb-ef97-40ab-babf-7abb865db6e0

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Mar 2018 16:30
Last modified: 13 Mar 2019 18:44

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