Browsing by Subject "kasvatustiede, maantiede"

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  • Pyyry, Noora (Helsingin yliopisto, 2015)
    In this thesis, the key themes of 1) knowing and 2) participation are examined in relation to creative and meaningful practical engagement with one's everyday surroundings, i.e. 'dwelling with' the world. These themes are explored both within the research process and in the context of young people's, and particularly teenage girls' hanging out. This research is inspired by the Situationist practice of dérive, and draws from participatory research tradition, posthuman feminist thinking and non-representational theorization. 'Dwelling with' is approached with an acknowledgement of the capacity of the material world to produce effects in human bodies: things and spaces thus take part in the - seemingly trivial, but often highly affectual - everyday encounters that make dwelling with possible. Ergo, also 'data' is approached in a new way. The power of words and other representations is not ignored, but they are taken as 'doings': they are performative. Representations are thus not evidence of a separate reality that lies behind them. In the thesis, attention is placed on the creative potential of experimentation. Fieldwork for this thesis happened in three phases. The first phase in 2011 was a pilot study conducted in Helsinki in connection to a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). The second phase took place in San Francisco in 2012 and was conducted via school, but separately from schoolwork. The participants in this study we 7th graders (12 to 13 years). The third phase in 2013 took place in Helsinki, again as part of a 9th grade geography course (participants were 15 to 16 years). First, the thesis explores how participatory methods can be used to support young people's role as co-researchers, foster their engagement in the research process and carve space for alternative knowledges. Together with the playful topic of hanging out, these methods can cultivate a relaxed atmosphere in the research situations. This is especially important when working in the school context. The methods also help balance power relations and address topics that could otherwise be left unnoticed. Second, the thesis shows how photography can be used as a method for multisensory 'thinking with' the world. This creative method is connected to movement in photo-walks. This practice is argued to foster young people's engagement with their everyday surroundings, and the research process, by linking action and understanding. This engagement opens up possibilities for spatial-embodied reflection. Later, the photographs serve as fieldnotes that take part in the thinking process and inspire action in the form of reflection in photo-talks. In this thesis, photographs are not considered as data of 'what was there' , rather they are understood to have productive power in the research process. Third, the thesis introduces the concept of hanging out -knowing. This knowing becomes possible through dwelling with: it takes place in everyday encounters. Hanging out -knowing is non-instrumental multisensory reflection about one's place in the world. Because hanging out is playful and wonderfully purposeless, space is cleared for the inspiring experience of enchantment. In these moments of being moved by something, new reflection can emerge. The moment of enchantment is always accidental, but it can be cultivated by artistic methods, such as photo-walking. Finally, the thesis argues that by hanging out at a shopping mall teenage girls participate in the world. Because hanging out lacks rigid plans, moments of enchantment become possible. This openness towards the world fosters dwelling with one's surroundings, in this case the shopping mall. By hanging out, girls disturb the rhythm of consumption. Improvisation with things and spaces produces a micro-atmosphere of play that interferes with the atmosphere of consumption at the mall. Through participation by being and by actively marking and claiming spaces as theirs, girls create momentary 'hangout homes' for themselves. Hanging out produces alternative modes of engagement with the city. Creative experimentation cultivates lively and mixed-use public spaces, and adds to making urban life vibrant and thought-provoking.