Walking and talking with girls in their urban environments: A methodological meandering

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Horgan, Deirdre
Fernández, Eluska
Kitching, Karl
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Young people spend a lot of time in their neighbourhood, yet little is known about the relationship between wellbeing, belonging and place from their own perspective. Our study sought to understand how young people navigate their neighbourhood and perceive various aspects of its health environment in its broadest sense. In this article we reflect on the walking methodology we used as part of a Participatory Photo Mapping (PPM) exercise with 11-year-old girls from a working-class school community who were participants in the PEACH Project. It was through walk-along interviews that students were able to tell us where events that matter to them happen; what these experiences look like (via photos that they took while we walked); and how these experiences unfold (via narratives and stories that they shared with us along the way). We reflect on the use of walking methodologies as both an emplaced approach and dynamic exercise that allowed us to access and generate visual and verbal data that privileged these young girls’ community knowledge. We conclude that this method facilitated the discussion of sensitive and political issues, as well as the emergence of unexpected data on child cultures, family and community life, belonging, wellbeing and futures.
Methods , Participatory photo mapping , Walking interviews , Girls , Wellbeing
Horgan, D., Fernández, E. and Kitching, K. (2022) 'Walking and talking with girls in their urban environments: A methodological meandering', Irish Journal of Sociology, (24 pp). doi: 10.1177/07916035221088408