Claiming the streets: feminist implications of psychogeography as a business research method

Knowles, Deborah (2009) Claiming the streets: feminist implications of psychogeography as a business research method. Electronic Journal of Business Research Methods, 7 (1). pp. 47-54. ISSN 1477-7029


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This paper is intended to establish a claim that the techniques of psychogeography may be advantageously employed in business and management research in order to provide a new perspective on how organisations are experienced. It examines this practice for its possibilities as a research approach for women and its compatibility with feminist research methods. Psychogeography offers an approach to gaining an understanding of the ways that human behaviour is shaped by the geographical environment (Coverley, 2006). It constitutes a style of collecting a variety of qualitative data using complementary methods, which gives a textured view of the real world in a particular environment. Psychogeography is primarily a literary tradition. However, its constituent parts are academic disciplines rooted in real world experience. The attraction of psychogeography to a business researcher is many layered. It invites the researcher to observe the environment slowly and painstakingly, whilst “strolling”, and to construct meanings in a number of ways. Walking is celebrated by psychogeographers as a cultural act and an important way to understand the world, yet the male-as-norm character of psychogeographers is well established (Solnit, 2001). The masculine tradition of psychogeography may operate to challenge woman researchers to examine the possibility of using this approach in conjunction with feminist perspective research methods as a way of exploring and questioning women’s place in a patriarchal culture (Acker et al, 1983). Feminist research methods seek to address the "invisibility" of women's experience in academic studies (Roberts, 1990:7), to overturn the male-as-norm perspective, and to highlight the possibilities for women to engage in 'male-preserve' activities. In the case of the male preserve of psychogeography these intentions would apply not only to the subject of the study but also to the practice of the research method itself.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: University of Westminster > Westminster Business School
Depositing User: Miss Nina Watts
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2010 09:37
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2011 10:01

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