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Research Profile

Dr Robin Smith  


  • Current and Completed Research

    ‘Mapping Urban Patrols: Mobile Knowledge and Care and Repair in the City’ (Wales Institute for Social Economic Research, Data and methods (WISERD) project) 2009 – 2012

    My current research, working with Dr Tom Hall, involves the ethnographic documentation of urban street based professionals whose roles are understood as mobile and spatial practices that relate to forms of ‘care and repair’ (both material and social) in the city centre. Fieldwork involved participant observation with a range of diverse patrols such as outreach services attending to vulnerable adults (rough sleepers, street drinkers, sex workers) street cleansing crews, and Police Community Support Officers. The research is particularly concerned with the provision of welfare to ‘vulnerably mobile’ street populations, local knowledge and the politics of public space.

    Project publications

    Smith, R.J. (2011) Goffman’s Interaction Order at the Margins: Stigma, role, and normalisation in the outreach encounter. [Special Issue: Interaction] Symbolic Interaction 34(3): 357-376

    Smith, R.J. and Hall, T. (In Press) ‘No time out: mobility, rhythmicity and urban patrol in the twenty-four hour city’ in R.J. Smith, and K. Hetherington (Eds.) (In Press) Urban Rhythms: Mobilities, Space and Interaction in the contemporary city Sociological Review Monograph Series. Chichester: Wiley 

    Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2013) Knowing the city: maps, mobility and urban outreach work. Qualitative Research [Online First. 24/01/13] DOI: 10.1177/1468794112469623

    Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2012) Stop and go: a field study of pedestrian practice, immobility and urban outreach work. Mobilities. [Online First, 25/03/12] DOI:10.1080/17450101.2012.659470

    Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Walking, Welfare and the Good City Anthropology in Action 18(3): 33-44

    ‘The Social Actor in the Landscapes of Regeneration’ (ESRC Quota Award PhD – supervisors Dr. W. Housley and Dr. B. Dicks) 2005-2009

    My doctoral research entailed an analysis of the regenerated landscape of Cardiff Bay. The research employed ethnographic methods alongside visual analysis and photo-elicitation interviews that were then analysed using a combination of membership categorisation and frame analysis. The thesis focused on the construction and replication of the ‘smooth narrative’ of regeneration and the identification of common sense geographies within the sociological contours of ‘Cardiff Bay’. The thesis was examined in September 2009 by Prof. Kevin Hetherington and Prof. Paul Atkinson.

    Project publications

    Smith, R.J. (2013) Accounting for the landscape of regeneration: spatial membership, categorisation practices and the moral order of commonsense topographies. Space and Culture 16(1): 43-59

    Housely, W. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Mundane reason, membership categorization practices and the everyday ontology of space and place in interview talk. Qualitative Research 11(6): 698-715