Structuring subjectivities? Using Q methodology in human geography

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Abstract

This paper presents a critical and reflexive account of using Q methodology in human geography. Q methodology has a long pedigree in psychological, political and sociological research, but is only recently beginning to be used by human geographers. We discuss, in particular, the parts of the process(es) of Q methodology that are often glossed over in the literature, through reflecting on our learning in using Q within a project examining the use and production of environmental science by NGOs. We conclude that Q may be a useful supplement to existing methods in human geography, as long as it is used creatively and reflexively and with full awareness of its interpretative dimensions.

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