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A method for capturing movement and touch-based interactions during ethnographic fieldwork

Kell, Clare 2011. A method for capturing movement and touch-based interactions during ethnographic fieldwork. [Working Paper]. School of Social Sciences Working Papers Series, vol. 148. Cardiff: Cardiff University. Available at:

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This paper introduces a paper and pencil-based method for capturing naturally occurring interactions in ethnographic fieldwork notes where no electronic (audio / video) recording equipment can be used. The method was developed for a study exploring the practical accomplishment of hospital-based physiotherapy education. Physiotherapy is a movement and touch-based healthcare profession where students learn by shadowing and co-working with qualified therapists. To observe real time placement-based physiotherapy education it was important to capture the non-verbal and physical (contact and spatial), as well as the verbal elements of the observed interactions. The method is based on Laban-Bartenieff Movement Analysis and the work of Birdwhistell, Heath, and Goffman and captures the minutiae of some elements of participants’ interactional use of gaze and space. This paper describes the development of the method and illustrates its use in the context of hospital-based physiotherapy education.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: R Medicine > RZ Other systems of medicine
Uncontrolled Keywords: movement, touch, ethnography, practical accomplishment, physiotherapy
Publisher: Cardiff University
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2017 19:55

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