Walking Towards an Embodied Work Identity

Mak, Connie, Davies, Andrea and Tsaousi, Christiana (2018) Walking Towards an Embodied Work Identity. In: RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018, 28-31 August 2018, Cardiff, UK.

Mak et al RGS Cardiff manuscript WALKING TOWARDS AN EMBODIED WORK IDENTITY (1).pdf
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Mak et al RGS Cardiff manuscript WALKING TOWARDS AN EMBODIED WORK IDENTITY (1).pdf
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Item Type:Conference or Workshop contribution (Paper)
Item Status:Live Archive


On-route consumer practices have long been overlooked in consumer research, even though lifestyles, tastes and consumption practices are omnipresent on the streets to shops, on route to home and to places of work. Consumption studies have tended to prioritize retail and home places, and relied on sedentary retrospective interviews to understand how consumption and market practices shape and are shaped by people’s identities and subjectivities. We use the walking method to look again at professional work identities and how walking to and from work opens up a rich and historically embedded narrative description of evolving work identity for 10 senior Hong Kong executives. Inquisitive prolonged conversations while walking with participants uses the sense-stimulation of old and new in walking routes in Hong Kong city to bring what we locate as multi-sensual resonant validity. We show how the non-retail consumption spaces of pavements (sidewalks), subways, bridges, lifts, and the changing contours of the cityscape open up theoretical and practical insights including ‘falling into the rhythm of participants' life’, ‘a narrative time travel portal’, and ‘socialized bodily knowing’ that contribute to understanding more about the embodiment of cultural capital. The ‘walking-with’ method is more than simply a way of providing physical stimulus to help recount narrative insights. We find that career identities are materially-enmeshed in the routes to and built environment, and that the routes-to and being on-route have rhythms and bodily knowing important to understand embodied identity that cannot be readily captured in a sedentary interviews that we also conducted.

Keywords:embodiment, walking-with method, multi-sensual resonant validity, bodily knowing, time travel portal, cultural capital
Subjects:L Social studies > L700 Human and Social Geography
L Social studies > L726 Cultural Geography
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:45851
Deposited On:25 Aug 2021 11:25

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