Mobile ethnographies of the city

Authored by: Phillip Vannini , Nicholas Scott

Handbook of Urban Mobilities

Print publication date:  June  2020
Online publication date:  May  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138482197
eBook ISBN: 9781351058759
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter introduces the principles, procedures, and potentials of mobile ethnography with a focus on how this research methodology has been applied to the study of urban mobilities. Mobile ethnography shares with other mobile research methodologies an interest in capturing kinesthetic practices and experiences and in rendering such empirical materials through lively, emplaced, and embodied means. As a research strategy “on the move” mobile ethnography focuses on observation of and participation in mobile lifeworlds and social groups, as well as in the ordinary and extraordinary mobile activities of discrete individuals. The chapter reviews studies of mobile ethnographies in urban environments reflecting on their methodological challenges, limitations, advantages, and opportunities for future research developments.

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