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Entries and omissions: using solicited diaries in geographical research

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This paper explores the use of personal solicited diaries as a qualitative research tool within social geography. Diaries were used with women from South Africa who recorded their experiences of violence over a period of one month. The paper analyses diaries in terms of their longitudinal benefits, their socially constituted nature, their use in conjunction with interviews and finally their potential for empowerment. The paper concludes with a discussion of the limitations of the diary as a methodological tool.

Keywords: South Africa; diaries; feminist methodologies; gender; violence

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Environment and Development, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield S1 1WB, Email:

Publication date: June 1, 2003

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