Qualitative Research in Tourism: Ontologies, Epistemologies and Methodologies

By Jenny Phillimore; Lisa Goodson | Go to book overview

15

Memory-work
Jennie Small
Aims of the chapter
• To introduce the research method 'memory-work': the philosophy, the procedure and the application of the method.
• To examine the way the method was employed in a study of women's and girls' tourist experiences.
• To compare the writer's experience of the method with the experience of other users.
• To consider the emotional experience of using the method.

Introduction

A review of tourism research at the end of the twentieth century by Dann and Phillips (2000) has suggested methodological progress from the findings of a previous review by Dann et al. (1988). The earlier review had found that tourism researchers tended to neglect questions of theory and method, and their interrelationship. Dann and Phillips have indicated that in the intervening years, qualitative research has been undertaken which 'has managed to achieve a happy blend of theory and method' (2000:260). Arguing for the application of qualitative research methods in tourism research, their model, which portrays the 'state of the art' of qualitative tourism research, nonetheless indicates that there remain gaps in the application of qualitative methods in tourism studies.

The relatively recent emergence in tourism studies of paradigms such as feminism (Aitchison 1996; Craik 1997; Davidson 1996; Deem 1996; Kinnaird and Hall 1994, 1996; Norris and Wall 1994; Richter 1994; Sinclair 1997; Swain 1995, Swain and Momsen 2002) requires tourism researchers to follow the path of researchers in other fields of study and reassess the usefulness of traditional research methodology. Questions need to be addressed concerning the best way to uncover lived experiences of different socio-cultural groups.

This chapter describes and critiques memory-work (Haug 1987), an innovative qualitative research method which has an acknowledged

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