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“Disciplined research in undisciplined settings”: Critical explorations of in situ and mobile methodologies in geographies of health and wellbeing

“Disciplined research in undisciplined settings”: Critical explorations of in situ and mobile methodologies in geographies of health and wellbeing
“Disciplined research in undisciplined settings”: Critical explorations of in situ and mobile methodologies in geographies of health and wellbeing
In situ and mobile methodologies are increasingly popular within research into diverse geographies of health and wellbeing. These methodologies include data‐gathering techniques and modes of analysis carried out with research participants as they experience and move through settings with the potential to shape both momentary and longer‐term experiences of health and wellbeing. This methodological development is both a response to and reflection of wider methodological and theoretical thinking across human geography, especially in relation to mobilities, performative, co‐productive, and active ways to access and produce knowledge. In addition, the past few decades have seen increased access to geo‐spatial technologies and tools to both locate and record experiential place‐based knowledge. Such methods are capable of producing important new knowledge concerning the emergence (or foreclosing) of health and wellbeing in and through place, yet they are often perceived as “risky,” drawing researchers out of their traditional researcher‐controlled environments. Based on discussions developed during and since a July 2018 in situ and mobile methods workshop, this paper discusses the benefits of negotiating the (at times) somewhat messy and unpredictable research encounters that can unfold through such methods. It incorporates examples from recent and ongoing doctoral and post‐doctoral research in health and wellbeing using out situ (in situ outdoors) methodological approaches in Britain and Ireland – including go‐along interviews, video ethnography, elicitation, and biosensing. Three core themes are presented, concerning the value of mobile and in situ methods in: (1) supporting an ethic of care; (2) attending to more‐than‐human dynamics of health and wellbeing; and (3) integrating matter and meaning in contemporary efforts to understand how health and wellbeing unfold and accrete in and through place.
0004-0894
Foley, Ronan
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Bell, Sarah L.
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Gittins, Heli
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Grove, Hannah
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Kaley, Alexandra
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Mclauchlan, Anna
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Osborne, Tess
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Power, Andrew
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Roberts, Erin
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Thomas, Merryn
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Foley, Ronan
ea18fc0d-2437-4f05-9af4-e4de1a4c9d32
Bell, Sarah L.
d6939b9b-86ef-470c-a9a2-c75e35f0c756
Gittins, Heli
a445013d-c2d6-4d61-a00a-33b5cbad9eec
Grove, Hannah
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Kaley, Alexandra
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Mclauchlan, Anna
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Osborne, Tess
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Power, Andrew
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Roberts, Erin
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Thomas, Merryn
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Foley, Ronan, Bell, Sarah L., Gittins, Heli, Grove, Hannah, Kaley, Alexandra, Mclauchlan, Anna, Osborne, Tess, Power, Andrew, Roberts, Erin and Thomas, Merryn (2019) “Disciplined research in undisciplined settings”: Critical explorations of in situ and mobile methodologies in geographies of health and wellbeing. Area. (doi:10.1111/area.12604).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In situ and mobile methodologies are increasingly popular within research into diverse geographies of health and wellbeing. These methodologies include data‐gathering techniques and modes of analysis carried out with research participants as they experience and move through settings with the potential to shape both momentary and longer‐term experiences of health and wellbeing. This methodological development is both a response to and reflection of wider methodological and theoretical thinking across human geography, especially in relation to mobilities, performative, co‐productive, and active ways to access and produce knowledge. In addition, the past few decades have seen increased access to geo‐spatial technologies and tools to both locate and record experiential place‐based knowledge. Such methods are capable of producing important new knowledge concerning the emergence (or foreclosing) of health and wellbeing in and through place, yet they are often perceived as “risky,” drawing researchers out of their traditional researcher‐controlled environments. Based on discussions developed during and since a July 2018 in situ and mobile methods workshop, this paper discusses the benefits of negotiating the (at times) somewhat messy and unpredictable research encounters that can unfold through such methods. It incorporates examples from recent and ongoing doctoral and post‐doctoral research in health and wellbeing using out situ (in situ outdoors) methodological approaches in Britain and Ireland – including go‐along interviews, video ethnography, elicitation, and biosensing. Three core themes are presented, concerning the value of mobile and in situ methods in: (1) supporting an ethic of care; (2) attending to more‐than‐human dynamics of health and wellbeing; and (3) integrating matter and meaning in contemporary efforts to understand how health and wellbeing unfold and accrete in and through place.

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Accepted/In Press date: 14 November 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 27 November 2019

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437777
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437777
ISSN: 0004-0894
PURE UUID: ef4083cf-75c4-451a-a96f-3ed72f29099a
ORCID for Andrew Power: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3887-1050

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Date deposited: 17 Feb 2020 17:30
Last modified: 18 Feb 2020 01:32

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Contributors

Author: Ronan Foley
Author: Sarah L. Bell
Author: Heli Gittins
Author: Hannah Grove
Author: Alexandra Kaley
Author: Anna Mclauchlan
Author: Tess Osborne
Author: Andrew Power ORCID iD
Author: Erin Roberts
Author: Merryn Thomas

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