Innovative Qualitative Methods

This session invites papers that incorporate innovative qualitative methods into the investigation of the city.  What methods are up to the task of interrogating the manifestations of processes that are globally- but also locally-rooted and can capture the various scales of forces that act upon a place?  How do we illuminate processes that are both stretched out and expanding as well as locked in to particular spatial arrangements? How can we examine uneven power geometries that encompass the entire globe?  What methodological innovations best utilize urban studies’ advantage of a diversity of theoretical and methodological traditions in order to reveal this complexity and nuance?

This session is founded upon the idea that addressing these questions will involve pushing the limits of our current tool kit of qualitative research methods.  Submissions could include papers that are products of innovative methodologies of urban research in action but also papers that discuss innovative methodological questions in a more theoretical fashion. Such methods might include less common strategies of evoking sentiment (e.g., photo-elicitation techniques, go-along interviews), work with video, interventions in public spaces, and action research approaches—but also methods that are truly new in some way and therefore can’t be articulated here.

John Joe Schlichtman, DePaul University