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Chapter 18: Mobile Methods
18. Mobile methods Margarethe Kusenbach INTRODUCTION Research based on so-called mobile methods promises innovative insights into issues of identity, interaction, structure, and power within modern bureaucracies. However, to my knowledge, mobile methods – meaning techniques of data collection during which researchers move alongside participants – have yet to be used and reflected upon in the field of education. Nonetheless, there are mobile studies of children and youth (for example, Hall, 2009; Ross et al., 2009) and discussions of mobile methods in related fields (such as social work, cf. Ferguson, 2011) which might give education researchers some initial directions. In what follows, I provide a general overview of mobile methods research in order to familiarize education students and scholars with this new and original methodological trend. Currently, several dozen scholarly publications based on and about mobile methods are available on the academic market. Those include several books (Bærenholdt et al., 2004; Czarniawska, 2007; Elliott and Urry, 2010; also see Pink, 2009a), a good number of journal articles and chapters (see below), as well as various dissertations and research reports which are not mentioned in this overview. Three edited volumes specifically devoted to mobile methods (Ingold and Vergunst, 2008; Fincham et al., 2009; Büscher et al., 2011), the quarterly Routledge journal Mobilities, and the last 2010 issue of the journal Visual Studies also include many relevant pieces. Academic work on mobile methods has been conducted and published in both North America (USA and Canada) and Europe (predominantly in the UK). Contributors are...
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