Reflections on the go-along: How “disruptions” can illuminate the relationships of health, place and practice

Claire Thompson, Joanna Reynolds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
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Go-alongs are qualitative interviews conducted by a researcher accompanying participants on a journey, tour or place-specific activity. Go-alongs emerged as a distinct method amid increasing theoretical emphasis on place and a wave of methodological innovations seeking to investigate spatial experiences. In this paper we employ a lens of “disruption” to reflect upon our varied usages of go-alongs in qualitative research examining health and place. We observe that go-alongs generate physical and discursive disruptions that challenge the illusion of certainty and “tidiness” in the interview encounter. The researcher is exposed to unanticipated detours, creating diverse opportunities to explore health and place as emergent topics. The method also illuminates narrative inconsistencies that reveal the complex influence of particular contexts in real time. For health and well-being research, the value of the “disruptive” go-along lies in its capacity to offer new insights into the myriad interactions between place, practice and health experiences.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)156-167
Number of pages12
JournalGeographical Journal
Issue number2
Early online date2 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019


  • discursive
  • disruption
  • go-alongs
  • health
  • place
  • qualitative practice


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