Sensory Methods

One of the most interesting – and perhaps underrated – aspects of research into urban multiculture is its methodological innovation (as an example see Emma’s profile of Yasmin Gunaratnam). The value of ethnography in sociological research is a key aspect of Les Back’s New Ethnicities and Urban Cultures, and the theme of methods informed much of the programming for the conference.

One paper that tackles the issue of methods head-on is by Ruth Webber, a doctoral student based at the University of Leicester. Ruth is conducting research into refugee, asylum seeker and migrant women in Glasgow. In her paper on notions of ‘home’, heritage and identity as felt and experienced by these women, Ruth will present her own unique form of ethnographic practice that utilises ‘sensory methods such as photo-elicitation and collage making ’ that will enable her to access the non-linguistic ways in which women refugee and asylum seekers navigate and make sense of their new homes.

You can get a taster of Ruth’s research in her beautiful blog and this post in particular which outlines her project.

Ruth is in fact a former student of Goldsmiths, and told us how much she is looking forward to returning and seeing the college’s famous tiled floors. So here’s a little taster for Ruth from the college’s instagram feed.

Ruth Webber presents ‘Everyday Multiculturalism’; using sensory methods to explore ‘home’, heritage and identity in the everyday lives of migrant women in Glasgow’ in the Living with difference session (Panel 9), 15:30-16:45 in room PSH326

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