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The walking interview: methodology, mobility and place. Applied Geography, 31(2), 849-858

Article

The walking interview: methodology, mobility and place. Applied Geography, 31(2), 849-858

Abstract

Social scientists have begun engaging with participants ‘on the move’ in a variety of ways. This paper presents the results of a pilot study, which deployed a qualitative GIS technique to analyse the effectiveness of walked interviews in capturing data relating to people’s understanding of place. We give an account of the walking interview exploring two issues: the relationship between what people say and where they say it; and qualitative and quantitative differences between data generated by walking and sedentary interviews. Our results indicate that the data generated through walking interviews are profoundly informed by the landscapes in which they take place, emphasising the importance of environmental features in shaping discussions. We also demonstrate a measureable difference between walking and sedentary techniques in the production of rich place narratives both in terms of their quantity and spatial specificity to the study area. The paper concludes by acknowledging that a technocentric analysis of place runs the risk of emphasising locational above humanistic elements, but argues that, done sensitively, a qualitative GIS approach offers great potential for engaging planners and policy makers with the importance of local connections to place.
... Here, the "walk-along interview" [5][6][7][8][9], also known as the "go-along method" [10], "go-along interview" [11,12] or "commented paths method" [13] has become an internationally recognized qualitative spatial method within the research and professional communities, next to other ones such as the "photovoice" method using picture elicitation to better understand a situated experience of aging [14,15] or like "community-based participatory research", referring to a mix of qualitative methods including focus groups [16][17][18]. This increasingly popularity of WAI methodology in social sciences [19], which originated in the fields of ethnography, geography, anthropology, and mobility studies [20], is now used in fields as diverse as architecture and urban planning, e.g., [21], design, e.g., [6], or transportation, e.g., [5], public health [11,22], gerontology [23], social, e.g., [24], and environmental sciences, e.g., [25]. ...
... Choice of the route. Route choice can be classified according to the typology of WAI presented by Evans and Jones [19], WAI ranges from "natural walks" to "guided walks"; the first type of WAI refers to studies in which the researcher walks a route determined by the participant; the second refers to an interview in which the route is determined by the researcher [19]. ...
... Choice of the route. Route choice can be classified according to the typology of WAI presented by Evans and Jones [19], WAI ranges from "natural walks" to "guided walks"; the first type of WAI refers to studies in which the researcher walks a route determined by the participant; the second refers to an interview in which the route is determined by the researcher [19]. ...
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Background: The "walk-along interview" (WAI) is a qualitative spatial method that consists of a researcher walking alongside a participant during the time of an interview to identify perceived neighborhood environments. The use of the WAI method increased in various disciplines , including the fields of public health and gerontology, to assess the relationship between the individual, spaces, and walking activity. However, how and in what settings the WAI method has been implemented with healthy older adults needs to be documented and synthesized. Objective: Our aim is to conduct a systematic review of published studies that have used the WAI method to identify the perceived neighborhood environment correlates of walking activity in healthy older adults, with a specific focus on the methodological aspects related to the data collection of this method. Methods: Following the PRISMA guidelines, PubMed, Web of Science, Scopus, and So-cINDEX databases were systematically searched with no limitations on publication date. Results: From 99 articles identified, 31 met all inclusion criteria, totalizing 1207 participants. Description of the method through the assessment of participants and environmental characteristics and the data collection (before, during, and after WAI characteristics). Conclusion: This review provides detailed information WAI method to assess perceived neighborhood and walk activity among healthy older adults. WAI provides different sets of opportunities and challenges. Some suggestions, such as exhaustive participants' socio-demographics, anthropometric descriptions and data collection methods , were highlighted to be essential elements when conducting WAIs. In addition, the current findings of this review could serve as a basis for researchers, students, and the professional community who wish to apply the WAI.
... People saw us visiting different places and were happy to add information especially as the outsider showed interest in what they had to say. The value of 'walk and talk' method provided useful research insights whilst eliciting information about the environment that might have been otherwise overlooked if the interview was merely in a fixed context (Evans and Jones, 2011). This helped us not only to talk with more local people but to construct clearer scenarios about how everyday life had changed during past years. ...
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With the development of globalization and the mobility of academics, there is an increasing opportunity for cooperation in intercultural research. This however raises questions about the advantages and disadvantages of being a cultural insider and outsider in such an endeavour. This paper considers the methodological complexities of intercultural research revealed during the collaborative research undertaken in rural China by the two authors, one English and one Chinese. Questions emerged about how to maintain objectivity, integrity, and confidentiality within intercultural settings. As such, it provides many useful insights for researchers carrying out collaborative research in intercultural settings, whether as an insider or outsider. This study also contributes to the English literature on methodological studies in rural China.
... Walking as a method is becoming increasingly popular in the social sciences and humanities (Bates and Rhys -Taylor, 2017;Edensor, 2010;Evans and Jones, 2011;Pink et al., 2010). In arts practice it is a method for epistemological and creative activity, a means of thinking and making (Billinghurst et al., 2020;Heddon and Turner, 2010;Heddon and Myers, 2014;Ingold and Vergunst 2008). ...
Article
Based on a series of walks undertaken on the Dingle Peninsula ( Chorca Dhuibhne), South-West Ireland, in March 2020 as part of the ‘ Walking Conversations’ symposium, a collaboration between Chorca Dhuibhne Creativity and Innovation Hub, Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne and the Department of Sociology & Criminology at UCC, this paper explores walking as a non-conventional method and way of knowing and understanding in both social research and research led teaching; specifically in relation to transitions to sustainability. We argue that walking is an organic approach to research that engages the performative and sensing body; that values the importance of innovative ways of connecting and collaborating in co-productive ways; and offers embodied, relational, sensory, multi-modal ways to reimagine socio-ecological sustainability in current times. Moreover, as we demonstrate, walking, as research on the move, enables us to: access/say the unsayable and open a space for the role of imagination, and creativity that can facilitate a radical democratic imaginary. Indeed, based upon our experiences with co-walkers in Corca Dhuibhne, research-led walking methods offer a radical democratic transdisciplinary pedagogy, that underpins the Connected Curriculum at UCC.
... We conduct the semi-structured interview during the simulation, while following the participants on specific routes [93]. First, we collected the participant profile information such as gender, age, and length of stay in kampong. ...
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Emergency evacuation is regarded as the most important disaster response action for protecting human life from potentially lethal threats. Despite growing research aimed at evaluating and modelling evacuation for strategic flood disaster preparedness, remarkably little is known about how informal settlement dwellers realized and negotiated surrounding environment for evacuation path route choice. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the dynamic interaction between human characteristics, path risk elements, and path network configuration in constructing flood evacuation route choices based on two cases study of urban riverbank kampongs in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. To understand these interactions, we applied a mixed method based on a qualitative research approach, which included (1) walking evacuation simulation with video analysis to understand the informality practices and kampong's space setting, (2) an analysis of dweller's narrative experience collected from walking interviews, (3) computational path network configuration analysis using space syntax. Our findings suggest that kampong dwellers selected evacuation routes differently based on their individual capacity, the safety performance of path design, and path network characteristics in accommodating the safest travel. When juxtaposing space syntax results with walking evacuation simulation, the individual evacuation route choice is highly related to space syntax measures (normalized angular choice at local radii), implying that the majority of residents still prefer to walk on the straightest route (the route with the least angular deviation) to reach the assembly/exit points. Furthermore, this research demonstrates that not all residents have the same capabilities to walk on the straightest evacuation route due to physical capacity and limitation that relates to gender and ages differences. In negotiating path risk elements. The use of mixed method approaches provided a practical insight into emphasizing the human-centered perspective in planning an effective flood emergency evacuation for informal riverbank settlements through spatial design, planning, that respect vulnerable groups.
... In particular, walking interviews improve upon the sit-down interview by exploring the meaning making activities of participants in their actual sociospatial context (Kusenbach, 2003). By engaging the participants in-situ, walking interviews elicit more unprompted reflections on the significance of place (see Evans & Jones, 2011 for empirical evidence). Walking interviews also build on field observations because such observations depend on the researcher's meaning making and do not provide access to the participants' perceptions and experiences of their context (Kusenbach, 2003). ...
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This study examines often-overlooked youth perspectives on the sociospatial changes happening in a community experiencing Black displacement, mass Latinx immigration, and impending gentrification. To date, studies of complex urban change rarely consider the ways in which young people perceive and produce place differently from adults. Drawing on Critical Race Spatial Analysis and related literature, this critical phenomenological study centers the experiences youth of color living and learning in South Central Los Angeles. In doing so, this article draws on walking interview data from a larger place sensitive study. This study found that youth of color in South Central derive keen, intersectional insights into the dialectical relationship between the social and the spatial just by living their lives. They learn to “read the world” around them and in doing so, develop complex understandings of the sociospatial phenomena that surrounds them. The article concludes with a call to value the intellect of urban youth in research and public policy.
... The interviews were carried out between February 2021 and February 2022. Two interview research methods were specifically devised and employed with different actors, at different times and conditions: the "walking interview" (Evans and Jones, 2011) and the face-to-face semi-structured interview. For each of the groups of interviewees, a specific interview script was prepared, all containing the relevant informative aspects: land abandonment perception, perception of possible land-use strategies, and opinion on opportunities and barriers of implementation of SI in the territory. ...
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The article aims to analyze, based on a multiple case study, the discourses of the individuals that promote social innovation (SI) initiatives for the reuse of abandoned riverside landscapes, connecting SI theory with land reutilization and management through discourse analysis. Following a qualitative methodology, the text analyses the characteristics of the promoting actors, the discourses storylines and the main actors’ discourses, describing some relevant aspects regarding SI, such as why, where and when it takes place; how it has been developed; who has promoted it; its main results, as well as the barriers faced for its development and future opportunities for the territory. Two main discursive tendencies are identified: a negationist trend and a possibilistic one, adopted by individuals who are not promoting initiatives of SI and by promoters of these kinds of experiences, respectively. Possibilistic discourse underlines the coherent articulation between the economic-managerial dimension and the emotional-territorial one, and there is, in this case, a tendency to change in the visions of the territory, reconfiguring the social practices of the actors involved in these initiatives of SI. We conclude that discourses behind successful processes of SI are associated with certain positions on the interrelationships between individual- collective-institutionality-nature and that there is a complex articulation between discourses on SI and social practices developed by individuals as part of these initiatives, in such a reflexive way that discourses advance the desired changes, drawing and modifying the future vision of the subjects, and making the impossible possible.
... This was for example the case in Ghana when respondents showed me the neighbourhoods in which they grew up. These walks brought up vivid emotional memories of experiences young people had in certain places during their childhood, allowed me to see fleeting encounters with others, and gave insights into everyday lived experience (see also Evans and Jones 2011;Kusenbach 2003). As soon as possible after these interviews, I typed up my notes on both what I had heard and seen. ...
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One in five young people across the European Union has a migration background, meaning that either they or their parents were born abroad. Many of these young people engage in visits to the country of origin on a regular basis and/or have been mobile before they migrated to Europe. Even though there is much research on the impact of migration on young people, their actual mobility has hardly been investigated. This dissertation investigates how the physical mobility to and within Ghana shapes the lives of Ghanaian-background youth living in Belgium. It does so by examining their ‘mobility trajectories’, that is, not only the migration move but all movements young people undertake over time and across geographically distinct localities, the concomitant family constellations these moves entail, and what happens during mobility. Ethnographic research in Belgium and Ghana with 25 young people of Ghanaian-background reveals how youth use their own mobility and digital media to create and maintain effective engagements, meaning the connections with people and places in the country of origin. These connections in turn shape experiences with family reunification and separation, personal growth and future pathways, and their relationship with the country of origin.
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Chapter
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The abstract for this document is available on CSA Illumina.To view the Abstract, click the Abstract button above the document title.
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