Cover image for Vol. 46 Issue 3

Edited By: Kevin Ward (Editor) and Paul Wood (Co-Editor, Physical and Environmental Geography)

Impact Factor: 1.466

ISI Journal Citation Reports © Ranking: 2013: 23/76 (Geography)

Online ISSN: 1475-4762

Associated Title(s): The Geographical Journal, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Area Virtual Issues

Area Virtual Issues

Area publishes ground breaking geographical research and scholarship across the field of geography. Whatever your interests, reading Area is essential to keep up with the latest thinking in geography.

The Society invites you to enjoy the following Virtual Issues, compiled by the Journal's editors:


Sara Kindon, Editorial Board Member
September 2013


Jonathan Rigg, RGS-IBG 2013 Annual Conference Chair, Durham University, UK, and National University of Singapore
May 2013

Alison Blunt (Editor, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers), Klaus Dodds (Editor, The Geographical Journal), Kevin Ward (Editor, Area), Paul Wood (Co-Editor, Area) and Madeleine Hatfield (Managing Editor at the RGS-IBG)
January 2012

Jürgen Essletzbichler; Editorial Board member
April 2011


Sara Kindon, Editorial Board Member
September 2013

This virtual issue highlights innovations in the use of participatory (audio)visual methods in geographic research since 2000, particularly focusing on diagramming, auto-photography and participatory video. The articles show how these methods help us to better understand relationships between the sensual, corporeal and creative dimensions of existence and their political and spatial manifestations. They highlight how (audio)visual methods can move beyond the limitations of dominant modes of verbal and textual analysis. Through their abilities to accommodate and express movement, emotion, practice, performativity, and the contingencies of time and space, they provide us ways to negotiate relations of power, representation and place, and to co-create geographic knowledge. As such, when practised within participatory and critical epistemologies, they enable researchers to counter some of the less desirable disciplinary effects of neoliberal agendas within academia. With the rise of social media accessed through mobile devices, and the relative low cost of other image/sound recording technologies, the integration of (audio)visual methods into geographic research is likely to increase. This virtual issue therefore acts as a call to researchers to contribute to this journal by thinking through the implications and effects of shifting audiovisual technologies for the politics of how and why we do geographic research.

Participatory mapping and diagramming

Evaluating life maps as a versatile method for lifecourse geographies

Nancy Worth

Re-constructing the urban landscape through community mapping: an attractive prospect for sustainability?
Frances Fahy and Micheal O’Cinneide

Participatory diagramming: deploying qualitative methods through an action research epistemology
Mike Kesby


Using auto-photography to understand place: reflections from research in urban informal settlements in Mexico
Melanie Lombard

Imag(in)ing ‘homeless places’: using auto-photography to (re)examine the geographies of homelessness
Sarah Johnsen, Jon May and Paul Cloke

Shooting in the city: an autophotographic exploration of the urban environment in Kingston, Jamaica
David Dodman

Participatory video

The challenges and opportunities of participatory video in geographic research: exploring collaboration with indigenous communities in the North Rupanui, Guyana
Jayalaxshmi Mistry and Andrea Berardi

Participatory video and geographic research: A feminist practice of looking?
Sara Kindon



Jonathan Rigg
RGS-IBG 2013 Annual Conference Chair, Durham University, UK, and National University of Singapore
May 2013

‘New geographical frontiers’ is a deliberately open label, one that can, therefore, be interpreted in a variety of ways. The frontier can be employed as a concept, a metaphor or as a point of empirical focus – and while it is a classic geographical preoccupation that has rightly been problematised, it should still command our attention. The papers in this Virtual Issue (drawn from the RGS-IBG journals Area, The Geographical Journal and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers) contribute to three, over-lapping areas of debate about new geographical frontiers and show both how embedded frontiers are in geographical research, as well as why they need to be continually interrogated. First of all, new geographical frontiers are integral to how we theorise (think) and practice (do) our geography. Occasionally gradual, incremental change can hide from view quite fundamental transformations in methodological approach or conceptual framing. Secondly, geography’s contribution to addressing the challenges that humanity faces, from climate change to international development, are central strands of geographical research. And third, there is the possibility, perhaps the need, to go beyond disciplinary boundaries and geographical frontiers to research new topics in innovative ways. The extended introduction summarises the papers in the Virtual Issue and expands on the theme of ‘new geographical frontiers’.

Resource frontiers

Scarcity, frontiers and development
Edward B Barbier
The Geographical Journal

Who's counting? Spatial politics, ecocolonisation and the politics of calculation in Boundary Bay
Emma Norman

Cultural and political frontiers

Humanism, race and the colonial frontier
Alan Lester
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Gender and geopolitics in ‘secular time’
Elizabeth Olson

Frontiers and border crossings and enclosures

Nation, ‘migration’ and critical practice
Harald Bauder

From old comrades to new partnerships: dynamic development of economic relations between China and North Korea
Seung-Hyun Yoon and Seung-Ook Lee
The Geographical Journal

Border security, 9/11 and the enclosure of civilisation
Reece Jones
The Geographical Journal

Frontiers in geographical methods and practice

Doing flood risk science differently: an experiment in radical scientific method
S N Lane, N Odoni, C Landström, S J Whatmore, N Ward and S Bradley
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

The complexity of evidence for sustainable development policy: analysing the boundary work of the UK Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee John Turnpenny, Duncan Russel and Tim Rayner
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

New spatial media, new knowledge politics
Sarah Elwood and Agnieszka Leszczynski
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Research frontiers

Geographies of impact: power, participation and potential
Rachel Pain, Mike Kesby and Kye Askins

Resilience and responsibility: governing uncertainty in a complex world
Marc Welsh
The Geographical Journal


Security VI

Alison Blunt (Editor, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers), Klaus Dodds (Editor, The Geographical Journal), Kevin Ward (Editor, Area), Paul Wood (Co-Editor, Area) and Madeleine Hatfield (Managing Editor at the RGS-IBG)
January 2012

This Virtual Issue draws together recent papers from Area, The Geographical Journal and Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (the journals of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG)). Chris Philo (University of Glasgow) leads the list with a paper on the theme, also that of the RGS-IBG’s Annual Conference in 2012, providing his perspective as to why geographers should be working on both, interrelated, subjects. The other articles showcase the breadth and depth of this theme through a wide range of geographical elements of security, including hazards, geopolitics, resource security, climate change and financial crisis; and papers on the state of geography as a discipline, which traverse publishing, contemporary agendas and occupations.

Security of Geography/Geography of Security
Chris Philo
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Geography of security

The Everywhere War
Derek Gregory
The Geographical Journal

Maintaining the Sanitary Border: Air Transport Liberalisation and Health Security Practices at UK Regional Airports
Lucy Budd, Morag Bell, Adam Warren
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Bodies, Bombs and Barricades: Geographies of Conflict and Civilian (In)security
Jennifer L Fluri
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Biosecure Citizenship: Politicising Symbiotic Associations and the Construction of Biological Threat
Kezia Barker
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

The Biopolitics of Food Provisioning
David Nally
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

An Obsolete Dichotomy? Rethinking the Rural–Urban Interface in Terms of Food Security and Production in the Global South
Amy M Lerner and Hallie Eakin
The Geographical Journal

Model Migrations: Mobility and Boundary Crossings in Regional Climate Prediction
Martin Mahony and Mike Hulme
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Global Energy Dilemmas: a Geographical Perspective
Mike J Bradshaw
The Geographical Journal

Future Visioning for Sustainable Household Practices: Spaces for Sustainability Learning?
Anna R Davies, Ruth Doyle, Jessica Pape

An Ash Cloud, Airspace and Environmental Threat
Peter Adey, Ben Anderson, Luis Lobo Guerrero
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Integrating Knowledge and Actions in Disaster Risk Reduction: The Contribution of Participatory Mapping
Jake Rom D Cadag, JC Gaillard

Goodbye Reykjavik: International Banking Centres and the Global Financial Crisis
Ben Derudder, Michael Hoyler, Peter Taylor

Security of geography

Is there a World Beyond the Web of Science? Publication Practices Outside the Heartland of Academic Geography
Nick Schuermans, Bruno Meeus, Filip De Maesschalck

The Impact Agenda and Geographies of Curiosity
Richard Phillips
Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers

Geographies of Impact: Power, Participation and Potential
Rachel Pain, Mike Kesby, Kye Askins

The Future of Geography in English Universities
Noel Castree
The Geographical Journal

Occupying Newcastle University: Student Resistance to Government Spending Cuts in England
PeterHopkins, Liz Todd and Newcastle Occupation
The Geographical Journal


Inequality VIJürgen Essletzbichler, Editorial Board member
April 2011

The budget announced by the conservative government in June 2010 will deliver the deepest cuts in public spending since the Second World War, reduce public sector employment by up to 500,000 jobs, and cripple the National Health Service and education sector. The combined results of those “reforms” will be increasing inequality, social polarization and uneven development with those regions, neighbourhoods and social groups already at the bottom of the pecking order likely to fall further behind. Critical analysis of the distributional impacts of those recent policy changes have been offered, among others, by the Institute of Fiscal Studies, the Work Foundation and the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research. Although repeated calls for engagement with questions of inequality and poverty as well as politically relevant research by leading geographers seem to suggest that geographers are insufficiently engaged with policy discussions and “socially relevant” research, this virtual issue demonstrates that geographers have been working consistently on issues of uneven development, inequality, poverty and social exclusion in Great Britain over the last three decades. This research employs both quantitative and qualitative approaches to understand the causal mechanisms and processes resulting in the unequal distribution and access to resources. Over three decades, the substantial research questions and methodologies have evolved reflecting changes in the discipline as well as the socio-political context in which research unfolds. With this virtual issue we do not only want to highlight past research on politically important topics but also invite researchers to continue engaging in this journal with some of the most dramatic political changes Britain is experiencing since at least the early 1980s.

A new deal for lone parents? Training lone parents for work in West London
Fiona Smith, John Barker, Emma Wainwright, Elodie Marandet and Sue Buckingham

Imag(in)ing ‘homeless places’: using auto-photography to (re)examine the geographies of homelessness
Sarah Johnsen, Jon May, Paul Cloke

Space and Exclusion: Does Urban Morphology Play a Part in Social Deprivation?
Laura Vaughan, David L. Chatford Clark, Ozlem Sahbaz, Mordechai (Muki) Haklay

Simulating Trends in Poverty and Income Inequality on the Basis of 1991 and 2001 Census Data: A Tale of Two Cities
Dimitris Ballas

Chasing a ‘Loose and Baggy Monster’: Almshouses and the Geography of Charity
John R. Bryson, Mark McGuiness and Robert G. Ford

Globalization, Polarization and the Informal Sector: The Case of Paid Domestic Workers in London
Rosie Cox and Paul Watt

A Century of Inequality in England and Wales Using Standardized Geographical Units
Ian N. Gregory, Daniel Dorling, Humphrey R. Southall

Professionalization and Displacement in Greater London
Rowland Atkinson

Access to Financial Services and Financial Infrastructure Withdrawal: Problems and Policies
Andrew Leyshon and Nigel Thrift

The North in the 1980s: New Times in the ‘Great North’; or Just More of the Same?
Ray Hudson

Spatial Polarisation of Private Education in England
Michael Bradford and Frank Burdett

Education, Social Needs and Resource Allocation: A Study of Primary Schools in Manchester
Liz Bondi

Trends in the Relationship between Earnings and Unemployment in the Counties of Great Britain, 1978 to 1983
Graham Bentham

Urban Deprivation: Not Just the Inner City
Duncan Sim

The Conditions in England’s Inner Cities on the Eve of the 1981 Riots
Chris Hamnett

The Changing Distribution of Low Income Households in the British Urban System
Graham Bentham

Britain’s Slump: The Regional Anatomy of Job Loss
Ron Martin

Neighbourhood Schools and Social Mix: Is Comprehensive Education an Incentive for Residential Segregation?
John A. Agnew

Methods Virtual Issue

Alastair Bonnett (Previous Editor of Area)
March 2008

Area has a long history of publishing new and exciting work on research methods. In this special selection of Area papers from 2003 to 2007, we bring you a wide range of articles that interrogate existing methods, as well as propose and develop new ones. The topics, of course, vary: from GIS applications, to participatory research to issues of translation across languages and many other issues besides. But what these papers share is a determination to explore conventions and explore new pathways; and to do so in relatively short, argument led and clear papers. This is work that seeks and deserves a wide audience amongst established academics, new researchers and students.

I hope that you will be able to read the papers in the virtual issue, and recommend it to colleagues and students.

Modelling Access with GIS in Urban Systems (MAGUS): Capturing the Experiences of Wheelchair Users
Hugh Matthews, Linda Beale, Phil Picton, David Briggs

Reflections on Participatory Research
Rachel Pain, Peter Francis

On the case? Dilemmas of Collaborative Research
Rob Macmillan, Alison Scott

Accessing the Research Setting: The Politics of Research and the Limits to Enquiry
Jo Horwood, Graham Moon

Participatory video in geographic research: a feminist practice of looking?
Sara Kindon

Entries and omissions: using solicited diaries in geographical research
Paula Meth

Polyvocalism and the public: ‘doing’ a critical historical geography of architecture
Mark Llewellyn

Interviewing in ‘place’: the socio-spatial construction of interview data
Chih Hoong Sin Elizabeth E Watson

The quality and qualities of population statistics, and the place of the census
Len Cook

Guest editorial: the 2001 UK census: remarkable resource or bygone legacy of the 'pencil and paper era'?
Paul Boyle, Danny Dorling

'Muddy glee': rounding out the picture of women and physical geography fieldwork
Louise Bracken (née Bull), Emma Mawdsley

Methodological challenges posed in studying an elite in the field
Margaret Desmond

What kind of quantitative methods for what kind of geography?
Christopher J Keylock, Danny Dorling

A new methodology for evaluating coastal scenery: fuzzy logic systems
A Ergin, E. Karaesmen, A Micallef, A T Williams

Emotionally intelligent research
Katy Bennett

The problem of anglophone squint
J W R Whitehand

Einfach sprachlos but not simply speechless: language(s), thought and practice in the social sciences
Gesa Helms, Julia Lossau and Ulrich Oslender

Narrative analysis as a strategy for understanding interview talk in geographic research
Janine L. Wiles, Mark W. Rosenberg, Robin A. Keams

Structuring subjectivities? Using Q methodology in human geography
Sally Eden, Andrew Donaldson, Gordon Walker

Negotiating nature: exploring discourse through small group research
Andrew McGregor

Commentary: Disabled students‘ experiences of fieldwork
Tim Hall, Mick Healey

Undressing the Researcher: Feminism, Embodiment and Sexuality at a Queer Bathhouse Event
Alison Bain, Catherine Nash

Geography fieldwork in a risk society
Victoria Cook, Deborah Phillips, Joseph Holden

Researching European ‘alternative‘ food networks: some methodological considerations
Laura Venn, Moya Kneafsey, Lewis Holloway, Rosie Cox, Elizabeth Dowler, Helena Tuomainen

Eliciting emotions in HIV/AIDS research: a diary-based approach
Felicity Thomas

Whats in a word? Problematising translation between languages
Martin Müller

Coded spatialities of fieldwork. An Observation for Area
Alistair Fraser

Thinking Critically and Creatively About Focus Groups
Peter Hopkins