Mobile Methods


Mobile methods generally describe an attempt to physically or symbolically follow people, objects, or ideas in a way that prompts analysis of the accounts, practices or experiences of, and interconnections between, mobility, immobility, flows, and networks. Within that broad definition, there can be a difference in the type of interest given to issues of mobility within the research project, broadly divided between a focus on mobility either as a practice or set of practices and as a method or methodological approach. By positioning and understanding mobility as a practice, the research focus is on people who move as part of their everyday lives, in their work or through their leisure. This understanding of mobility might mean it is important to accompany participants in their mobile practices, “going about” their daily lives with them and attending to the ways movement is part of the way they know and make their social worlds. Mobility can also be adopted as a method or a methodological approach, whereby as part of the data collection, mobility is brought into the research encounter, as a way of changing the dynamics of interaction.

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