Descriptive writing piece: Spend some time observing any urban site or space and use it to reflect on the theories and concepts discussed in the first half of the course. You could either pick a site you regularly spend time in or pass through as part of your normal routine to reflect on or pick a site that you visit and observe specifically for this piece of writing. You are asked to produce a short piece of descriptive writing, drawing on the reading from the first half of the course, on this site or space.
SOME EXAMPLES OF PREVIOUS Descriptive WRITING TOPICS.
PLEASE CHOOSE ONE TOPIC
• A busy London train station
• The walk to work
• Ordering a kebab
• In an upmarket coffee bar
• Kilburn High Road
• My local park
• On the top deck of the 53 bus
• Leather Lane Market
• Trying to get a taxi home
• The school gate
• Westfield shopping centre
USEFUL READING FOR THE DESCRIPTIVE WRITING EXERCISE
Burgess, R.G. (1984) “Methods of field research 1: participant observation” in In the field: an introduction to field research. London and New York: Routledge, pp. 78-100 – from Observation & The Everyday core reading.
Mitchell Duneier, Philip Kasnitz and Alexandra Murphy, eds (2013) The Urban Ethnography Reader Oxford University Press. A collection of ethnographic essays and extracts, mostly from the US. See especially part 2 on public spaces and part 6 on leisure spaces.
Emerson, R.M., Fretz, R.I. and Shaw, L.L. (2007) “Participant observation and fieldnotes”. In: Atkinson, P. et al. eds. Handbook of ethnography. London and Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 352-68 – from Observation & The Everyday core reading.
Hannah Jones and Emma Jackson, eds (2014) Stories of Cosmopolitan Belonging: Emotion and location London: Routledge. Case studies in urban multiculture, stressing affective dimensions.
Mason, J. (2002) “Observing and participating” in Qualitative researching. London and Thousand Oaks: Sage, pp. 84-102 – from Observation & The Everyday core reading.
Doreen Massey (1991) “A global sense of place” Marxism Today June 1991, pp. 24-9; in Space, Place and gender 1994, pp.146-156 [reprinted in T Barnes & D Gregory, eds, Reading human geography, Arnold 1997, pp. 315-23. Online at: https://www.unz.org/Pub/MarxismToday-1991jun-00024 and http://www.unc.edu/courses/2006spring/geog/021/001/massey.pdf and https://selforganizedseminar.files.wordpress.com/2011/07/massey_space_place_gender.pdf] 5
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