Further Reading

Further reading links to supplement your studies.

The following articles and books provide good examples of respondent diaries in practice:

  • Alaszewski (2006) offers a comprehensive overview of the many ways diaries have been used in the social sciences.
    Alaszewski, A. (2006) Using Diaries for Social Research. London: Sage
  • Latham (2006) provides an account of everyday urban sociality based around photo-diaries, written diaries, and diary interviews, and presents some interesting explorations of different ways to (re)present diary based material. A detailed reflection on the development of the methods used to gather this material is available in Latham (2004).
    Latham, A. (2006) “Sociality and the cosmopolitan imagination: national, cosmopolitan and local imaginaries in Auckland, New Zealand.” In Cosmopolitan Urbanism, J. Binny, J. Holloway, S. Millington and C. Young (eds), London: Routledge, 2006, 89‒111.
    Latham, A. (2004) “Researching and writing everyday accounts of the city: an introduction to the diary-photo diary-interview  method.” In Picturing the Social Landscape: Visual methods and the sociological imagination, C. Knowles and P. Sweetman (eds), London: Routledge, 117‒31.
  • Meth (2003) in a reflection on the advantages of using respondent diaries, provides a compelling example of the capacity of diaries to generate research material about emotionally sensitive issues. 
    Meth, P. (2003) ‘Entries and omissions: using solicited diaries in geographical research’, Area, 35 Issue 2: 195‒205.
  • McGregor (2005) provides a wonderful example of the shift in perspective a respondent diaries can provide. A study of the relationships various groups have to the Nile crocodile in the Zimbabwe, the respondent diaries produced by Tonga fishermen provide a striking counterpoint to the accounts offered by scientists and those campaigning for the protection of crocodiles.
    McGregor, J. (2005) ‘Crocodile crimes: people versus wildlife and the politics of postcolonial conservation on Lake Kariba, Zimbabwe’, Geoforum 36(3): 353‒69.
  • Middleton (2010) a thought provoking study of the practice of walking to work. Demonstrates the usefulness of diaries for conveying a sense both of the texture of an experience, and how that experience is related to wider routines.
    Middleton, J. (2010) ‘Sense and the city: Exploring the embodied geographies of urban walking’, Social and Cultural Geography, 11(6): 575‒96.
  • Zimmerman and Wieder (1977) is an account of how two ethnographers developed the diary, diary-interview method as a way of obtaining observations about social spaces the ethnographer would normally have difficulty gaining access to. This paper has been influential in the work of many geographers who have employed diary-based methods.
    Zimmerman, D. and Wieder, D. (1977) ‘The diary: diary interview method’, Urban Life 5 (4): 479‒98.