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Views of the neighbourhood: A photo-elicitation study of the built environment

Alexander, VD (2013) Views of the neighbourhood: A photo-elicitation study of the built environment Sociological Research Online, 18 (1).

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Abstract

Drawing on a participant-centred, photo-elicitation study of the built environment in three neighbourhoods, I discuss how people see their neighbourhoods, both in the visual and aesthetic sense, and also how they view (metaphorically) their local surroundings. Participants took part in photo-elicitation interviews and, previously, in standard (verbal-only) semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that people care about their neighbourhoods and value local amenities, attractive houses, public art, and trees, greenery and open spaces. They are concerned about such mundane issues as litter and poorly kept properties, which they find unattractive. Pictures of narrow alleyways and deserted areas were prevalent in connection with fear and vulnerability. I suggest that as participants construct their views of the built environment, they situate their actual neighbourhoods against idealised 'imagined' neighbourhoods, and both the actual surroundings and the idealised construction play into their views of their own place. In addition, it is clear that when participants are asked to take photographs of their neighbourhoods, they think visually. Consequently, participants enact their responses differently in visual research than they do in verbal-only research.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
AuthorsEmailORCID
Alexander, VDUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 28 February 2013
Identification Number : 10.5153/sro.2832
Related URLs :
Additional Information : This is an electronic version of an article published as Alexander VD (2013). Views of the neighbourhood: A photo-elicitation study of the built environment. Sociological Research Online 18(1):10 pages Available at: http://www.socresonline.org.uk/18/1/contents.html
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 28 Nov 2013 15:12
Last Modified : 09 Jun 2014 13:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/787079

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