I think I’ll ‘Go Along’

So having finally forced myself to put pen to paper (finger to keyboard?) I have started to write the methods section of my dissertation. Only three months behind schedule!

Interviewing was an obvious choice of research method for my study,  in order to get a sense of my participants’ attitudes and thoughts on urban exploration. Rather than conducting conventional ‘sit-down’ interviews, I have opted to use a ‘go-along’ interview method. The go-along method a bit of a mixture between participant observation and semi-structured interviewing. As the researcher, I am required to engage with the environment as well as my research participant. I take cues from my participants’ reactions to our surroundings and from the surrounding space itself.

Go-along interviews are popular in numerous disciplines including health studies, anthropology, sociology, and geography. This popularity stems from the increasing attention in research to that all important C-word (“context” that is) – and to acknowledging the positionality and experiences of the researcher as well as the participants.

‘Go-alongs’ are particularly suited to this project as urban exploration is a so-called ’embodied practice’, in the sense that urban explorers are consciously interacting with their surroundings, both physically and imaginatively. I can get stuck in as the researcher and really experience (or try to) the places in a similar way to my participants.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s