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Durham University

Department of Geography

Departmental Research Projects

Publication details

cover of bookDelyser, D., Herbert, S., Aitken, S. Crang, M. & McDowell L. The Handbook of Qualitative Geography. London Sage; 2010.

Author(s) from Durham


Exploring the dynamic growth, change, and complexity of qualitative research in human geography, The SAGE Handbook of Qualitative Geography brings together leading scholars in the field to examine its history, assess the current state of the art, and project future directions. Moving beyond textbook rehearsals of standard issues, the Handbook shows how empirical details of qualitative research can be linked to the broader social, theoretical, political, and policy concerns of qualitative geographers and the communities within which they work. The book is organized into three sections:

Part I: Openings engages the history of qualitative geography, and details the ways that research, and the researcher's place within it, are conceptualized within broader academic, political, and social currents.

Part II: Encounters and Collaborations describes the different strategies of inquiry that qualitative geographers use, and the tools and techniques that address the challenges and queries that arise in the research process.

Part III: Making Sense explores the issues and processes of interpretation, and the ways researchers communicate their results.

Retrospective as well as prospective in its approach, this is geography's first peer-to-peer engagement with qualitative research detailing how to conceive, carry out and communicate qualitative research in the twenty-first century. Suitable for postgraduate students, academics, and practitioners alike, this is the methods resource for researchers in human geography.


Introduction, Dydia DeLyser, Stuart Aitken, Steve Herbert, Mike Crang, and Linda McDowell
A History of qualitative research in human geography, Meghan Cope;
Encounters in the field: the politics of research, Stuart Aitken; A taut rubber band: Theory and empirics in qualitative geographic research, Steve Herbert; Policy, research design, and the socially situated researcher, Kari B. Jensen and Amy K. Glasmeier;
Mixed methods, Sarah Elwood.
Ethnography and participant observation, Annette Watson and Karen Till; Interviewing, Linda McDowell;
Life history interviewing, Peter Jackson and Polly Russell; Focus groups, Fernando Bosco and Tom Herman;
Autoethnography as sensibility, David Butz; Visual methodologies, Mike Crang;
Non-representational methods, JD Dewsbury; Caught in the nick of time: Archives and fieldwork, Hayden Lorimer;
Doing landscape interpretation, Jim Duncan and Nancy Duncan; Textual and discourse analysis, Jason Dittmer;
Qualitative research in animal geographies, Jennifer Wolch and Mona Seymour; Qualitative GIS, Stuart Aitken and Mei-Po Kwan.
Writing qualitative geography, Dydia DeLyser; The art of geographic interpretation: Making sense of qualitative data, Sara MacKian;
Representing the Other: Negotiating the personal and the political, Garth Myers; Major disasters and general panics: Methodologies of activism, affinity and emotion in the Clandestine Insurgent Rebel Clown Army, Paul Routledge; Reflections on teaching qualitative methods in geography, Deb Martin.

Department of Geography