Submit a Manuscript to the Journal

Qualitative Research in Psychology

For a Special Issue on

The ‘spatial turn’ in psychology: Considering qualitative research methods, public engagement and social impact

Abstract deadline
30 November 2023

Manuscript deadline
31 May 2024

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Special Issue Editor(s)

Dr Alex J. Bridger, Leeds Beckett University
[email protected]

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The ‘spatial turn’ in psychology: Considering qualitative research methods, public engagement and social impact

In recent years, qualitative and critical research in psychology has taken a spatial and visual focus in
considering the relation of human beings to environments in areas such as homelessness and mobile
research methods (Hodgetts et al. 2010), psychogeography and qualitative methods in psychology
(Bridger, 2003), mental health research, affect and participatory mapping (McGrath et al. 2020) and
the study of segregation in relation to qualitative methodologies such as discourse analysis, walking
interviews and photo-elicitation (Hook and Vrdoljak, 2002; Dixon et al. 2022). Much of this work has
taken an interdisciplinary focus based not only in psychology but also drawing affiliation to other
areas of study such as human geography, cultural studies, and sociology. The appeal of this work has
enabled a multi, inter and transdisciplinary approach to research that has been of interest and value
not only to academics but also to the public, the professional sector and more recently to voluntary
and governmental organisations.

In this special issue of the Qualitative Research in Psychology journal, we invite papers that
consider how a spatial methodological turn in qualitative psychology research contributes to the
paradigmatic development of qualitative research and critical psychology. The spatial
methodological basis to papers submitted to this special issue could be twinned with a related
psychology area, whether that be to qualitative or Feminist psychology or more generally to social
sciences research, the humanities and to cultural studies. Contributions could also consider the
interface and value of their work beyond academia to local and global communities as well as to
how such work may inform governmental and societal policy making and to potentially bettering the
social world.

We invite papers that consider the spatial turn as well as examples of qualitative
methodological approaches that take seriously a place-based and spatial focus on data collection
and analysis. We strongly encourage novel, creative, and innovative ways in which this special issue
can be addressed, and the list below indicates potential areas that researchers may wish to address.
Note that the list here is not exhaustive and there can be overlap between the areas indicated

• Spatial and place-based qualitative research methods (i.e., psychogeography, mobile
methods and walking interviews) in relation to subject specific areas of psychology such as
social, cultural and community psychologies.
• The use of qualitative data collection methods such as participatory research, creative
mapping, photography, and the use of video diaries in relation to affective experience.
• The intersection of qualitative research to the spatial study of culture/s, the media (mass
media and social media) and everyday life.
• Considering the contribution and development of the spatial turn to qualitative research in
• The spatialisation of qualitative and critical psychological research about mental health and
social distress.
• The spatial turn in qualitative research in relation to public engagement and social impact.
For this area, spatial research could be considered in relation to potential contributions
made to communities and groups beyond academia, i.e., voluntary groups, the public, the
public sector, social policy making and societal institutions.
• Qualitative research in psychology as political research.
• Spatial qualitative research methods in relation to teaching and learning across the lifespan.

Submission Instructions

Submission Process and Instructions
Initial, informal discussion of potential proposals is encouraged, and these should be sent to Dr Alex
J. Bridger at [email protected] Authors of selected proposals will be invited to submit
research papers of approximately 6000-8000 words. Novel and innovative forms of writing, which
may include art, photography, poetry and social media, are encouraged. Submitted papers will go
through an initial editor screening and then an anonymous double-blind review will be undertaken,
which will follow the Qualitative Research in Psychology policy.
• Deadline for submission of 300-word proposals and 250-word biographies: 30 Nov 2023.
• Deadline for submission of papers: 31 May 2024.
• Initial decisions: 30 Sept 2024.
• Deadline for submission of revised papers: 28 Feb 2025.
• Deadline for final submission of revised papers: 31 July 2025.
• Expected publication: Before the end of the year 2025

Editorial Biography

Dr Alex J. Bridger is a Senior Lecturer in Social and Community Psychology at Leeds Beckett University. He is the author of the recently published book Psychogeography and Psychology: In and Beyond the Discipline, which is part of the Concepts for Critical Psychology: Disciplinary Boundaries Re-thought series He is currently working on a project exploring peoples’ experiences of community in the Yorkshire, UK regions of Batley and Heckmondwike with the Jo Cox Foundation, Kirklees Council and colleagues at the University of Huddersfield.

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