Mobile ethnography: emergence, techniques and its importance to geography

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Issue: Volume 9, Issue 1, 2015


This paper presents an overview of the emergence of mobile ethnography and its potential benefits to the discipline of geography. The rise of mobile ethnography has been linked with the so-called “new mobilities paradigm”, which has become especially important in geographical thinking over the past ten years. Erstwhile focused on more static concepts, such as space, place or landscape, geography is today rife with theories and analyses of movement, mobility and flow. In spite of that, mobile ethnography can soon claim a preeminent status within the discipline. In this paper, I document the rise of this methodology, focusing myself on three main aspects. The first is to attempt a definition of mobile ethnography itself. The second is to enlist some recent examples of its usages. The third is to provide several strategies and techniques arising from my own work. This paper might, thus, be useful to senior undergraduate and postgraduate students focused on qualitative research methods in geography.

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Authors Affiliations

Andre Novoa
Northeastern University, USA
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