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The ‘Female Flâneur’ a Psychogeographical Exploration of Women Walking in the City

Harlow, Elizabeth (2019) The ‘Female Flâneur’ a Psychogeographical Exploration of Women Walking in the City. Manchester Metropolitan University. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Psychogeography has long been a male dominated field, incorporating the male perspective of the flâneur in which female perspectives were overlooked. Recent research suggests feminist methodology may have the ability to enhance psychogeographical research, therefore, this study aims to incorporate psychogeography and a more feminist approach looking at gendered experience. Using semi-structured, paired, walking interviews, six female participants walked around the city of Manchester and discussed their observations, experiences and emotions. The data was then transcribed and analysed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis. Three themes were found; safety, opportunity and lastly diversity and community. The study found that the experience of the female flâneurs displayed gendered experience previously ignored and the different perspectives and insights of the city that women can bring. It also highlighted urban promises of the city and revealed how their different experiences, such as safety and diversity, affected their creation of place from space; positive and negative. These findings suggest that psychogeography could vastly benefit from adopting a feminist approach; highlighting key differences and inequality amongst psychogeography, urban life and the growing societal and political change.

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