Research methods

In all of its research sites, the GLOBALDIVERCITIES project uses a variety of complementary research methods to examine all aspects of our central research question. The chosen methods produce a range of very different kinds of empirical data that, when cross-analyzed, help give us a better set of answers to this question. Drawn from disciplines that reflect the project team’s members – Sociology, Anthropology and Geography – the key research methods employed at each site in the GloDiv project are:

  • Archival research (such as city records, minutes of NGOs, relevant websites and various local media);
  • Analysis and visualization of statistical data and urban planning measures (especially from city government and local academic institutions);
  • Guided conversations, informal and formal Interviews (with local residents, leaders, officials);
  • Group interviews/focus groups (with a range of neighbourhood residents);
  • Ethnographic observation/participant observation (in selected public spaces and local or NGO events);
  • Transect walks (mobile interviews with informants as they go through their everyday spaces of travel, work, shopping and leisure);
  • Behavioral mapping (observing and recording the movement of people through particular spaces, and discussing such movements with informants);
  • Various tools of visual anthropology (using researchers’ films and georeferenced photos together with films and photos taken by informants to assess various events and socio-spatial dynamics as well as to elicit information and views of local informants).

In all points in the research, we have been oriented by the ethical guidelines for research set out by the American Anthropological Association.