Material Methods: object elicitations and interviews


Bio: Sophie Woodward carries out research into materiality, fashion, consumption, feminist theory and everyday life. She is the author of five books, including recently Material Methods (2019), and Birth and Death (2019 with Kath Woodward). With an ongoing interest in creative methods and material methods she is currently carrying out research into Dormant Things – things in the home people keep but are no longer using, which she is currently developing into publications into the hidden spaces and materialities of the home.

Bio: Dr Helen Holmes is a Lecturer in Sociology and Sustainable Consumption. Her work explores materiality, consumption and diverse forms of economy, especially the circular economy. In particular, Helen focuses upon social perspectives of objects and materials, to illuminate the lived everyday relationships we have with things. She has extensive expertise in using ethnographic methods to study micro level practices. Helen has published widely in high quality journals including Sociology, The Sociological Review, Work, Employment and Society and Geoforum.

This event explores qualitative interviews as a kind of material method. Both speakers - Sophie Woodward and Helen Holmes - have used objects in their research interviews and in this session we will discuss how we have used these in our own research into women's wardrobes and dormant things (Woodward) and practices of thrift; lost property and domestic waste (Holmes). Through conversation we explore the potentials of this approach and wider applications.