Visualising Manchester: Exploring New Ways to Study Urban Environments with Reference to Situationist Theory, the Dérive, and Qualitative Research

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This article will outline how mobile methods and documentary strategies (e.g., diaries, cameras, and maps) can be used to document and reflect on the research process and to consider the political implications of urbanism and gentrification. I draw particular inspiration from the work of the Situationist International and their use of detournement and the dérive. I will refer to a long-term project in Manchester city where I have used a situationist qualitative methodology. I will discuss the usefulness of the situationist tactics of the dérive and detournement for qualitative research in psychology. The wider aims of conducting this research are to extend qualitative methods in psychology; to further politicise qualitative methods; to consider the implications of the gentrification of environments; to reflect on the social roles of the researcher as academic, activist, and artist; and to consider what changes are possible as a result of doing this sort of research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)78-97
Number of pages20
JournalQualitative Research in Psychology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


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