Fieldnotes and situational analysis in environmental education research: experiments in new materialism

Andy Ruck, Greg Mannion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
54 Downloads (Pure)


This article details the approach taken to a recent study in an environmental
education context, with a focus on the writing and analysis of
ethnographic fieldnotes. This approach drew upon aspects of new
materialist theory and multi-species ethnography for the writing of fieldnotes,
and Situational Analysis for their analysis. These approaches represent
a ‘site of experimentation’ that arose through attempts to carry
out research in a manner sensitive to new materialist theories, whilst
operating within a time-bound, collaborative study. As well as highlighting
potential synergies, this article also explores the constant tensions
that arose when attempting to use existing qualitative research methods
in combination with new materialist theories. It is not intended as a
guide to conducting research in a ‘new materialist’ or ‘post-qualitative’
manner, but rather as an insight into the tensions, synergies and onthe-
ground methodological struggles within this site of experimentation,
and what was produced through the ‘research assemblage’ thereby created.
The article aims to demonstrate the ways in which existing qualitative
research methods were re-oriented through this approach, as well
as the onward effects of these re-orientations on what then amounted
to ‘the data’.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalEnvironmental Education Research
Issue number9
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Apr 2019


  • Environmental education
  • Situational Analysis
  • Post-qualitative
  • New materialisms
  • Ethnography
  • 23ref2021


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