Published on March 7, 2014
Gillian Cope – The University of the West of England The use of sensory ethnography to gain new understandings of visitor emotional experiences and practices at National Trust sites and their implications for future research & management
Overview • Aims • Sites • Methods • What methods enabled? • Analysis • Findings
Aims • investigate the meaning places have for people and how people engage with places • open up new approaches to examining peoples’ engagement with landscapes and places through sensory ethnography • communicate the above in a meaningful way that enables the NT to evaluate the possibility of implementing the findings and the methods.
Sites Hidcote Dyrham Woodchester Lacock
Methods - Audience: - - Visitors, staff and volunteers (34 in depth interviews) Methods: - - - Participant observation, semi-structured interviews (recorded and transcribed), fieldnotes, photography Video used for PO, ‘walking with video’ (Pink, 2007), video diary (Simpson,2010) The real world messiness reflects the intersubjective truth (Cook and Crang, 2007)
What did these methods enable me to capture? a rich, detailed record of encounter capturing nuanced interactions, rather than a remembered experience Walking with video - enabled a more involved approach to the how place and identities are constituted, enables participants to define and represent their own embodied experiences. place-making process, after Casey (1996) used by Pink, where your body moves through time and space, encounters things and people and by doing so experiences and senses these things. Video diary interview - gives the opportunity to allow a participant to express themselves without you, the interviewer, being an influencing force but still enables you to hear and see everything they did.
Walking with video
How did I analyse? Manual review of transcripts, video, photography Identified themes Mind maps to identify relationships within themes Further Nvivo analysis
Findings - themes Memory Rhythm Escape Connection and belonging The senses Physicality of place/objects Relationships
Advantages this is collaborative and observational - multi methodological approach. enables the ‘voice’ of the research subjects to be heard articulates hard to capture affects, beyond the voice not simply mirroring but the means through which it is constructed, understood and acted out. intimate context in which to produce knowledge recognises ambivalence and inconsistency as real
Caveats Self reflexivity and interpretation We, as researchers, affect the social world we study (Hammersley and Atkinson, 1983) Investigate context Sample size
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