Mindful Walking: The Serendipitous Journey of Community-Based Ethnography

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Mindful walking is an alternative way for a researcher to gather empirical materials through physical engagement so that she may ultimately make them more visible to others who may not be physically present. The empirical materials collected through mindful walking facilitates further theorization in ethnographic research. In this sense, walking can be explained using the following four concepts: curious spectator or flâneur, entangled pathways, ways of knowing, and meditation. To illustrate the promise of mindful walking, I describe in detail the insights I was able to develop through using this method for my doctoral dissertation, which involved an ethnographic case study of an art museum. A substantial portion of my empirical materials for this research comes from the embodied experience of walking; this method of conscious observation through emplaced movement afforded a unique perspective of the museum, its surrounding community, and how they coexist within an entangled social web.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-627
Number of pages7
JournalQualitative Inquiry
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • ethnography
  • methodologies
  • mindful walking
  • new methods
  • qualitative research
  • walking as method of inquiry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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