Walking and Talking with Volunteers: what does walking offer the study of volunteering, space and place?

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Original languageEnglish
Article numberbsaa019
JournalCommunity Development Journal
Early online date2 Jul 2020
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Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Jul 2020
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Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The walking interview is used to explore the lived experiences and meanings individuals attach to place(s). Despite scholarly interest in place and volunteering, attention to the walking interview is lacking. This article presents an exploratory study, which invited five volunteers to participate in a walking interview. Our aim is to discuss the walking interview to expand the range of methodologies employed in research on volunteering, particularly volunteering and place. The walking interview has novel implications for the conceptualization of volunteers and for the meanings individuals identify in their volunteer experience(s). Volunteers can be conceptualized as mobile subjects to explore the implications of physiological movement in place for the volunteer experience. Walking can unearth the significance of emotions and memories to volunteers’ negotiation of the ‘everyday politics’ of volunteering. The mobility of people and objects in sites of volunteering are salient as they reveal embodied aspects of the volunteer experience.