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Footwork: moving and knowing in local space(s)

Hall, Thomas Adrian ORCID: 2009. Footwork: moving and knowing in local space(s). Qualitative Research 9 (5) , pp. 571-585. 10.1177/1468794109343626

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This article is concerned with movement and terrain and with the ways in which qualitative inquiry might engage with and combine these in local studies of people and places. Movement is at a premium today — no shortage of social and cultural commentators insist on it — and bids fair to provide the social sciences with a new conceptual paradigm. Mobile actors abound and what were once spaces of place are now reckoned spaces of flows; space itself, emancipated from territory, becomes mobile and is deployed as a capacity. Qualitative research, having always allowed its actors to deploy a richer and more fluid world, is well placed to respond — but for one significant snag. The article sets the question: What happens to the qualitative commitment to the local, to grounded research and fieldwork, now that processes of mobility are said to transcend setting and location? Rather than look to ways in which to extend the reach of the qualitative researcher — across space, between places — the article considers how qualitative research, while remaining local, might nonetheless be brought together with movement. Two first-hand empirical examples of local qualitative inquiries directed to movement (as object and method) are used to develop this line of argument. A focus on pedestrian movement in particular aligns the article with widening inter-disciplinary and methodological interest in walking practices.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Uncontrolled Keywords: mobility; place; patrol; walking; youth
Publisher: SAGE
ISSN: 1468-7941
Last Modified: 19 Oct 2022 10:44

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