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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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Conducting (self) interviews at sea for a surfer’s view of surfing
Lyndsey Stoodley

Introduction This chapter explores the watery and water-based method of (self) interviews at sea, through the example of surfing. An interview with a view, whereby participants are given a surfboard with a waterproof camera and question sheet attached to it. Allowing the researcher to investigate certain topics, while also observing the surfer in situ, this method has been used in an attempt to better understand everyday human–water relations or, more specifically, human surfer–water relations. For surfers, who are most at home in their

in Mundane Methods
Studying mobility scooters in a context of spatial mobility injustice
Thomas Birtchnell, Theresa Harada and Gordon Waitt

Introduction In this chapter, we consider mobile methods for studying a mundane transport phenomenon. We argue that a focus on the spatial dimensions of the electric mobility scooter – an assistive technology for people with physical mobility impairments and the elderly – offers a key optic in relation to the practicalities of mobile methodologies at large, and more broadly ideas of safe and sustainable transport that are the norm in the global North. Mobile methods, through drawing researchers into a performative mode of inquiry, offer a rich

in Mundane Methods
Samantha Wilkinson

Introduction This chapter draws on the mobile methods I used when exploring forty young people's (aged 15–24) alcohol consumption practices and experiences in the suburban case study locations of Chorlton and Wythenshawe, Manchester, UK. This chapter is interested in bringing to the fore creative mundane methods that can be used to research the ‘everynight lives’ of young people. When everynight life has been considered in the literature, it has typically been in relation to sleep, sleeping and sleepiness (Kraftl and Horton, 2008 ; Williams

in Mundane Methods
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Carina Gunnarson

3 Methods Our point of departure was that Palermo represents a case where change is least likely to occur. If change occurs in this area, despite the hostile environment, we can be fairly optimistic about the possibility of changing people’s attitudes elsewhere. The project focus was therefore on the school programme (des­ cribed in Chapter 5) in four of Palermo’s most deprived areas, as ‘the worst of the worst case scenarios’. The selected areas share several characteristics: high density of criminality and Mafia dominance, low socio-economic level and weak

in Cultural warfare and trust
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Methods for exploring mundane jographies
Simon Cook

This chapter introduces and evaluates two methods of exploring running geographies, or jographies as I like to call them. Jographies are interested broadly in running practices, their spatialities, meanings, cultures and experiences (Cook, Shaw and Simpson, 2016a ). The importance of investigating running in such ways is becoming ever more significant to contemporary society. Due to the accessible, convenient and physical nature of running, it is increasingly being positioned as a key practice in helping to resolve the public health epidemic of

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

, particularly preparation and making. We explore methods that allow for the investigation of different facets of food as a social object. Advancing well-worn methodological approaches to food stuffs, such as the biography of things or ‘follow the thing’ (see Cook et al., 2004 ), we look at methodological means of tracing the transformation of food; from ingredient, to par-cooked, to creation, to eating. With methods of talking, doing, documenting and observing, in the guise of cook-alongs and food-for-thought discussions, the material transformations of food are seen anew

in Mundane Methods
Walking from the mundane to the marvellous
Morag Rose

For many people walking is, perhaps, the very definition of a taken-for-granted mundane method. It gets us from A to B, to work, to school, to the shops, to the car. However, it can be much more, and in this chapter I will explore how walking can be used as a research tool. I will begin by outlining some of the literature on walking methods and then discuss my experiences of utilising some of them. Linking all these methods is a common understanding that walking is an embodied, sensual experience that provides a direct connection to the environment. It is

in Mundane Methods
Object interviews as a means of studying everyday life
Helen Holmes

Introduction Since the material turn in the social sciences, researchers have been exploring new ways to engage with the objects and materials of everyday life. Such methods aim to overcome subject–object binaries, placing the very substance of materials at the core of their inquiry (Gregson and Crewe, 1998 ). This chapter takes one such approach – object interviews – to explore how objects and materials structure our everyday lives and relationships. This method involves not only unearthing the significance of objects to their owners, but also

in Mundane Methods
Adored, forgotten about, potent and mundane objects
Sophie Woodward

collections’ as a methodological approach involves situating this approach in the theoretical perspectives that frame it, as well as the methods that constitute it. The approach is one that explores how focusing upon the relationships between things can be a route into thinking about the relationships between people and draws from theoretical understandings of the effects that things can have (such as Miller, 2005 ), as well as theories of assemblages (such as Bennett, 2009 ). This chapter will introduce these positions and the implications they have for how we might

in Mundane Methods