The School of Geography, Politics and Sociology


Time-Space and Life

Advanced economies face many challenging and damaging social and environmental trends which impact on quality of life through key life-course transitions; for example child poverty, educational polarisatin, unhealthy lifestyles, obesity, car dependency, transport poverty, poor physical fitness, atmospheric pollution and the like. Tackling these problems is expecially complex when it is recognised that solutions do not reside in discrte 'social' 'environmental' 'transport' 'health' or 'land use planning' domains. A crucial and neglected common thread which runs through these issues is the co-constitutive relationship of time-space. Not only are questions of time-space conceptually important to life-chance related life-course transitions, but exploring this relationship also offers a constructive route by which social and natural scientists from quantitative and qualitative research backgrounds can work together, sharing knowledge and combining methods.

Examples of the way that mixed methods and interdisciplinary collaboration expand research potential and capacity include current proposals (by core members); to harness advanced tracking technology to study pedestrian behaviour in relation to foood and activity diaries to determine the many intersecting temporal (convenience) and spatial (landscape) factors underpinning a rise in childhood obesity; to employ geo-visualisation in qualitative research to trace informal support networks as a new perspective on households caring for persons with dementia. This seminar series will explore many more and diverse ways of thinking about temporality, spatiality and time-space co-ordination and bring this theorising to bear on issues which are emerging within everyday life. This is an ambitious and timely project.