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Arrival Stories: using participatory, embodied, sensory ethnography to explore the making of an English city for newly arrived international students

Stevenson, AD (2015) Arrival Stories: using participatory, embodied, sensory ethnography to explore the making of an English city for newly arrived international students. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography. ISSN 0891-2416

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Abstract

Places are more than mere locations indicated by coordinates on a map. They are sites invested with meaning that arises out of mobile, embodied, sensuous experience. The construction of place is explored here in the context of participatory, embodied, sensory ethnographic research. I curated a series of ethnographic engagements with international students who were newly arrived in the city of Manchester, England. A participatory, embodied, sensory ethnographic method was used to explore ways in which meaningful places are constructed through the body and senses. This paper reports on walking interviews with Tala (from Zambia), Ann (from Romania), Al (from Tunisia), Abbie (from Spain) and her guide dog Tori (from the U.S.), to explore their corporeal and sensuous engagements with their new city, using a combination of transcribed interviews and other, less language based products of our engagements (photography, artefacts, soundscapes)

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