Walking as transgenerational methodology

Lesley Murray, Helmi Järviluoma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The embodied practice of walking is said to make the city a cinematic experience that carves a path through to be read in multiple ways by future mobile bodies. De Certeau’s (1984) undifferentiated practitioner has been critiqued, with, in particular, alternative gendered accounts of the mobile body (Grosz, 1998; Collie, 2013). This research note seeks to add to such accounts through exploring the walking body that is differentiated according to generation and then through suggesting a transgenerational walking methodology. The article articulates a methodological approach developed as part of a European Research Council funded project on transgenerational cultural transformations of the sensory between 1950 and 2020. Through a series of transgenerational sensory walks – a younger person (sometimes a child) and an older person – the project examines changes in and multisensory engagements with local environments in three national contexts: Turku (Finland), Brighton (UK), and Ljubljana (Slovenia). This paper introduces the project and considers the role of generation in determining mobile space, and hence determines a rationale for a transgenerational methodological approach intersecting several disciplines. We ask the following questions: how are the bodies of different generations written in mobile space? and how does ethnographic sensory walking with different generations offer particular understandings of mobile space?

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-238
JournalQualitative Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 24 Feb 2019

Bibliographical note

Murray, L., & Järviluoma, H. (2019). Walking as transgenerational methodology. Qualitative Research. https://doi.org/10.1177/1468794119830533


  • transgenerational
  • walking
  • methodology
  • mobilities
  • mobile methods
  • transgenerational walking
  • sensobiography


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