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Communicating Place: Methods for Understanding Children's Experience of Place
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Human Geography.
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This dissertation explores how children communicate their experiences of place. It focuses on the qualitative methods of group interviews, walks, drawings and photographs, and asks how children communicate different aspects of place. Drawing on feminist theory and qualitative methodology, the importance of situated knowledge for understanding children’s narratives is argued. Through studies in Sweden and England, it is shown how children’s place experiences are multi-dimensional, consisting of both concrete and abstract processes, places and objects.

The different methods reveal different aspects of these dimensions and the children provided rich evidence of their experience of place in regard to physical, social and cultural aspects. It is found that children’s individuality affects the success of the methods, rather than factors such as gender, age or nationality. The methods’ different characteristics, such as creative and interactive aspects, and how power relations are reflected through them are determining factors as to how and what children communicate.

Place-interactive methods allow children to communicate the direct experience of place and include subconscious actions as communication occurs through movement and play. The creative aspects of the methods allow children to focus more on their abstract experiences and to include experiences based on a wider time perspective than the present. Walking is discussed as a critical method for the researcher to include place as an active and multi-sensuous phenomenon. As it is shown that the methods reveal different aspects of the children’s place experiences, it is also discussed how this can be used from an adult perspective.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Acta Universitatis Stockholmiensis, 2006. , 230 p.
Stockholm studies in human geography, ISSN 0349-7003 ; 16
Keyword [en]
children, place, interviews, photography, drawings, walks, communication, qualitative methods, Sweden, England, interactive, abstract, concrete
National Category
Human Geography
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-20088ISBN: 91-85445-46-0OAI: diva2:186613
Public defence
2006-10-27, De Geersalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 8A, Stockholm, 10:15 (English)
Available from: 2007-02-16 Created: 2007-02-16 Last updated: 2012-10-03Bibliographically approved

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