Qualitative Researcher, 13 pp 10-13
Qualitative mobile methods are heralded as innovative ways to involve participants, disrupting the power dynamics of the static interview and allowing the production of a co-constructed knowledge, between the researcher, the participant and the landscape. Much of this practice is informed by an understanding of place as something fluid, mutually produced and constructed. Previously we have argued that mobile methods are a useful technique to generate understandings of place (Moles and Anderson, 2008), of creating exchanges that are full of interruptions and disruptions. Researchers have discussed the ways in which the sounds of the landscapes can distract or engage the participants, shifting the focus of the walks and the emerging narratives to productive effect (Hall, Lashua and Coffey, 2008). Consequently, narratives that emerge from this method can reach into unknown territories, such as future imaginaries, embodied memories and fantasies (see Ringrose and Renold in press). Some argue that this method can allow researchers and participants to move with the rhythm of the walk (Ingold and Lee, 2006), passing through and into places that might have remained unexplored through other ‘static’ methods (Moles, 2008). In sum, the narrative and physical wandering that can come to characterize this method has the potential to create research encounters in which intimacies can be interwoven within narratives of the ordinariness of the everyday (Ross et al, 2009).