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Experiencing the Run: ‘Go-Along’ and ‘Video-Ethnography’ . Simon Cook | Plymouth University RGS-IBG Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference 2013. Mobile Turn . Recent resurgence on writings on mobility and movement (Merriman, 2012 )

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experiencing the run go along and video ethnography

Experiencing the Run: ‘Go-Along’ and ‘Video-Ethnography’

Simon Cook | Plymouth University

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Mid-Term Conference 2013

mobile turn
Mobile Turn

Recent resurgence on writings on mobility and movement (Merriman, 2012)

Previously largely ignored or trivialised terms (Sheller and Urry, 2006)

Movement is meaningful and power-laden (Cresswell, 2001)

Affects relationships with places, spaces, people, time and others (Finchamet al, 2010)

mobile methods
Mobile Methods

The recent interest is movement and mobile practices has challenged existing research methods and ask new questions of research techniques

Traditional social science methods have dealt poorly with the fleeting, complex, sensory, emotional and kinaesthetic (Law and Urry, 2004)

Recent upsurge and innovation in new methods tailored to research mobile phenomena, subjects and practices (Büscheret al, 2010)

running and mobilities
Running and Mobilities

Running has eluded sustained study in the social sciences (Bale, 2004)

Road-running involves the sharing and recycling of non-specialised spaces

No methodological precedent

the go along
The Go Along

Essentially a hybrid of an interview on the move and participant observation

Deep engagement with participants’ worldviews

In order to know what it feels to be a runner, one is obliged to go the extra mile (Vettenniemia, 2012)


video ethnography
Video Ethnography
  • Recent upsurge in geographical research using videographic methods (Simpson, 2011)
  • Pseudo-mobile
  • Enables the moment to be captured, retained, analysed and scrutinised
  • Method

The camera’s eye

Does not lie

But it cannot show

The life within

The life of a runner

Of your or mine

Extract from The Runner - W.H. Auden

go along practical difficulties
Go Along – Practical Difficulties





video ethnography practical difficulties
Video-Ethnography Practical Difficulties

Fixed camera angle


Battery life

Positioning the camera

go along experiencing the run
Go Along – Experiencing the Run

Not a normal run

Great rapport

Entering the participants running world

Responding to events and creating context

Communicate meanings, understandings and feelings

Unable to capture the moment

video ethnography experiencing the run
Video Ethnography – Experiencing the Run

Capture and relive the moment of a normal run

Reveal the often unseen or unnoticed

Understand how bodies interact and negotiate spaces, environments and others

Predominance of sight

Emotions, experiences and sensory aspects lost

multi mobile methods

Together the techniques could form a formidable and holistic methodology

Go- Along: understanding meanings, perspectives and feelings

Video-Ethnography: understanding the actions, details and how the run is accomplished

Negotiating Pedestrians