This article discusses the development and use of the solicited unstructured diary-interview method to explore the everyday tacit and mundane nutrition information activities (NIA) of people who have type 2 diabetes. Diary completion was followed by individual qualitative interviews with individuals (n = 18) and one couple. Diary entry styles ranged from succinct daily logs of their NIA to extensive prose reflecting on the nutrition information they used and associated practices. Development of the method incorporated piloting and advice from lay groups who checked acceptability and understanding of the research tools, and highlighted the need for regular contact between the researcher and participants throughout the diary completion phase. Participants engaged positively with the diary approach. The findings highlight the extent to which the everyday NIA is mundane and thus unavailable for academic exploration. The diary-interview method exposed these practices to both the researcher and participant, and supported them to reflect on the practices they engage in every day in order to self-manage their type 2 diabetes. Although this article draws on an example from health, the article demonstrates how the diary-interview method has utility for researchers exploring other everyday tacit and mundane experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalSociological Research Online
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jan 2022


  • diabetes
  • diaries
  • diary-interview
  • information behaviour
  • information practice
  • nutrition
  • qualitative
  • tacit activities


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