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People can talk about their practices

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Abstract:

This paper considers the value of using interviews to research routine practices. Interviewing could easily be framed as inappropriate for this task, either because such practices are too difficult for respondents to talk about as a result of having sedimented down into unthinking forms of embodied disposition or because this method is out of step with a current enthusiasm for research styles that do not focus unduly on the representational. The discussion starts with how some key proponents of social practice theory have characterised the possibility of talking with people about these matters before turning to my own experience with two interview projects that attempted to do so inside city offices and older person households. I conclude that people can often talk in quite revealing ways about actions they may usually take as a matter of course and offer suggestions about how to encourage them.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.01060.x

Affiliations: Department of Geography, University College London, London WC1E 6BT.

Publication date: 2012-03-01

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