Pluralising mobile methods: researching (im)mobilities with Muslim women in Birmingham, U.K

Join us for a buffet style lunch from 12.15 in TSU.

Mobile methods are now popular tools in qualitative research on place-based knowledge. It is recognised, however, that different kinds of bodies can be excluded. In this seminar I talk about the need to pluralise mobile methods in order to more subtly attune to social distinctions (of gender, ‘race’, and religion) in urban public space. Drawing on a series of mapping exercises and walking interviews undertaken with Muslim women in the city of Birmingham, U.K, I advance that the social and cultural politics of researching walking practices have often been underplayed in discourse that has given emphasis to pleasure, relaxation, and conviviality. With reference to empirical observations that trace my own learning in the field, I highlight how attention towards the intersections of walking interviews with social difference is especially crucial in contexts of urban diversity. In turn this requires a critical rethinking of how mobile methods are used and written about in Geographical research.