Ethnography, Culture and Interpretive Analysis research group

Chair: Robin Smith


Tom Hall and Robin Smith (Cardiff University and WISERD)
Rachel Taylor-Swann (Cardiff University)
Oliver Cowan (University of Plymouth)

This is the second of a two part session on Street Research and Researcher Safety.

This event was a forum for the discussion of the conduct, experience and representation of ethnographic and/or qualitative research on the street; that is, the public and not so public spaces of the city. In conjunction with popular imagery and imaginings of the street, with spectacle and fear served in equal proportion, discussions of such research can often foreground questions of safety, ethical conduct and the management of risk viewed from the perspective of the researcher. A potential consequence of such – undoubtedly important – discussion is the romanticisation of research endeavour in place of an examination of the way in which informants routinely navigate and negotiate such matters in the course of their daily round. In considering research ‘on the street’, three papers take the phrase in the two senses in which it might be heard – with the street as both object and setting of inquiry – in discussing the way in which ‘the street’, ‘risk’ and ‘safety’ feature both within the conduct and reporting of research projects and, more significantly, as they are managed in and through the street-level practices, routines and accounts of everyday life in the city.