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Understanding Everyday Kitchen Life: Looking at Performance, into Performances and for Practices

Abstract

The aim of this article is to contribute to methodological debate on how to research everyday life with a reflexive exploration of the ways of looking we developed to analyse video recordings of a 24/7 on-going performance of kitchen life. We bring insights from debate on the affordances of video for the examination of mundane everyday life, utilising theories of practice and phenomenological perspectives on ways of looking. Three strategies for looking and thinking using the video data in our research are discussed: looking at performance, looking into performance; and looking for practices. We elaborate how each way of looking maps onto different epistemological concerns and results in different ways of knowing practices and performance. We conclude by considering the consequences and ask whether it is possible and useful to work across these approaches of looking and comprehending.

Keywords

  • Everyday life
  • Practices
  • Performance
  • Visual methodology
  • Ways of looking
  • Video

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Notes

  1. 1.

    In addition to the video analysis practices of ethnomethodologists, there is also some discussion on the analyses of video diaries (Holliday 1998) and home movies (Hwang 2013). There is also some discussion on the use of software tools, such as Transana and NVivo (e.g. Thorn 2006).

  2. 2.

    The practice of ‘zooming in’ appears to be a generic priority in practices of video analysis. For instance, Schubert (2006) provides an interesting discussion on the question of how footage is selected from the broader sample of visual data for detailed analysis, while software tools, such as Transana, have inbuilt facilities to deal with clips from larger bodies of video data.

  3. 3.

    For instance, Martens (2012b) compares the different priorities for looking at videos of cooking practices by different academic practitioners.

  4. 4.

    See Martens and Scott (2004) for a detailed discussion of the differences and similarities and pros and cons of doing observational work while being present and absent from the interactional space of domestic kitchens.

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Correspondence to Lydia Martens .

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Martens, L., Scott, S. (2017). Understanding Everyday Kitchen Life: Looking at Performance, into Performances and for Practices . In: Jonas, M., Littig, B., Wroblewski, A. (eds) Methodological Reflections on Practice Oriented Theories. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52897-7_12

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-52897-7_12

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