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Innovative ways to research the everyday

Mundane methods is an innovative and original collection which will make a distinctive methodological and empirical contribution to research on the everyday. Bringing together a range of interdisciplinary approaches, it provides a practical, hands-on approach for scholars interested in studying the mundane and exploring its potential. Divided into three key themes, this volume explores methods for studying materials and memories, senses and emotions, ,and mobilities and motion, with encounters, relationships, practices, spaces, temporalities and imaginaries cross-cutting throughout. In doing so, it draws on the work of a range of established and up-and-coming scholars researching the everyday, including human geographers, sociologists, anthropologists, urban planners, cartographers and fashion historians. Mundane methods offers a range of truly unique methods – from loitering, to smell mapping, to Memory Work – which promise to embrace and retain the vitality of research into everyday life. With empirical examples, practical tips and exercises, this book will be accessible to a range of audiences interested in making sense of the everyday.

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Mundane methods and the extra-ordinary everyday
Sarah Marie Hall and Helen Holmes

Researching the everyday is more important and significant now than ever before: beyond a fad or cultural currency, understanding the mundane is key to critical and conceptual social science. But what is the everyday and how do we research it? These questions have long perplexed social and cultural theorists. While no firm consensus has ever been reached, what scholars do agree on is that there is no 'one' everyday – that everyday lives are multiple, messy and full of methodological possibilities. This introductory chapter invites readers to comprehend everyday life as an exciting and expanding field incorporating a wide range of interdisciplinary scholars. By exploring the minutiae of daily experiences and ways of making sense of the world we inhabit, the chapter also highlights the cultural, ethical, social and political significance of mundane methods.

in Mundane Methods
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Material methods for exploring food and cooking
Sarah Marie Hall, Laura Pottinger, Megan Blake, Susanna Mills, Christian Reynolds, and Wendy Wrieden

Food is the stuff of the everyday. Whether looking at its origins, cultural relations, environmental impacts or economic implications, social researchers have long been fascinated with food. With this chapter we centre food and food-making practices, specifically food preparation and cooking, exploring methods that allow for investigation of the effects of food as object. Advancing current methodological approaches to foodstuffs, such as the biography of things or 'follow the thing', we look at the transformation of food; from ingredient, to par-cooked, to creation. With methods of talking, doing and observing, in the guise of cook-alongs and food-for-thought discussions, the material transformations of food are seen anew.

in Mundane Methods