727765 research-article2017 QIXXXX10.1177/1077800417727765Qualitative InquiryCastrodale Article Mobilizing Dis/Ability Research: A Critical Discussion of Qualitative Go-Along Interviews in Practice Qualitative Inquiry 1–11 © The Author(s) 2017 Reprints and permissions: sagepub.com/journalsPermissions.nav https://doi.org/10.1177/1077800417727765 DOI: 10.1177/1077800417727765 journals.sagepub.com/home/qix Mark Anthony Castrodale1 Abstract In this article, I document the challenges of operationalizing critical qualitative mobile research methods, specifically go-along interviews. Mobility-oriented qualitative inquiry is a way to examine disabled and Mad persons’ socio-spatial knowledges and study spatial inequalities impacting these persons. I reflect on my own positionality as an able-bodied researcher, while conducting research with self-identifying Mad and disabled research participants. I further discuss the limitations, enabling factors, constraints, and implications of engaging in go-along interviews. Next, I unpack how and why this method at many times was not desired by my research participants in favor of more traditional interview techniques, such as sit-down faceto-face interviews. There is a need to critically (re)consider space and place in research practices in ways that value the often subjugated voices and socio-spatial knowledge(s) of Mad and disabled persons. Keywords disability, disability studies, go-along interviews, Mad studies, mobile methodology Introduction Disability-related research has been historically viewed as oppressive when disabled persons have been excluded from shaping the research process (Kitchin, 1999, 2000; Mercer, 2002; Peterson, 2011). Disabled persons have been objects of inquiry, subjected to a biomedical pathologizing gaze, dehumanized, and exposed to real and systemic violence in the name of inquiry often by able-bodied researchers (Chouinard, 2000; Goodley, 2014; Linton, 1998; Oliver, 1997). Ontologically, disability has often been understood as individual lack, deficiency, and in need of fixing (Oliver, 1992, 1997). In contrast to individualizing biomedical models of disability, rooting deficit in disabled persons themselves, a social model approach to disability recognizes oppressive structures that limit the full societal participation of disabled persons (see Barnes, 2012). Disability studies researchers have articulated a need to question power relations in research processes which (re)produce able-bodied privilege and marginalize disabled persons (Oliver, 1992). Disabled persons have advocated for involvement and control over research processes and knowledge production (Brown & Boardman, 2011; Chouinard, 2000; Goodley & Moore, 2000; Stone & Priestley, 1996; Zarb, 1992). Similarly, Mad studies1 scholars have advocated for the perspectives of psychiatric system consumers, survivors, and ex-patients (c/s/x) who have experienced sanist oppression to ethically inform and transform the politics of research production (Beresford & Wallcraft, 1997). There is a continued need for researchers to challenge exclusionary research designs through empirical and theoretical work that attends to power relations and rejects politics of research production that may disempower disabled persons (Chouinard, 2000). I argue that researchers should engage in nonexploitive relationships and facilitate cooperation and collaboration (Niesz, Koch, & Rumrill, 2008). Sharing in research design promotes collaboration, reciprocity, and involvement in research processes; knowledge production; and shared decision making (Chouinard, 2000). Researchers must operationalize research methods that do not exclude or mitigate participation of disabled persons (Valentine, 2003). Offering a variety of interview formats where people can act, move, and express themselves in diverse modalities may address issues of accessibility. Socio-spatial inquiry challenges exclusionary politics of research production and researchers to posit increasingly reciprocal work. Mobile methods are often informed by ethics of interconnectedness. Here, I suggest that researchers have an ethical responsibility to research alongside disabled persons, to research with disabled persons, and not to engage in predatory research practices that advantage the research 1 McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Corresponding Author: Mark Anthony Castrodale, McMaster University, 1280 Main St. W., Hamilton, Ontario, Canada L8S 4L8. Email: email@example.com 2 without reciprocation (Kitchin, 1999; Stone & Priestley, 1996; Zarb, 1992). At the center of this commitment is the principle that disabled and Mad persons’ perspectives should create empirical bases of research where their knowledge(s) should be used to inform policies and practices impacting them. Yet, the mobilities turn to inquiry (Cresswell, 2006; Sheller & Urry, 2006) has largely ignored involvement of Mad and disabled persons who might challenge notions of the mobile subject. Similarly, Mad studies and disability studies research has not substantively drawn on mobilityinformed qualitative inquiry with some exceptions (see Blewett & Hanlon, 2016; Goggin, 2016; McClimens, Partridge, & Sexton, 2014; Parent, 2016). Go-along interviews are defined by researchers and participants moving together through socio-spatial environments, often while engaging in place-informed discussions (Carpiano, 2009; Hein, Evans, & Jones, 2008). A go-along interview may subject researchers and participants to less controlled environments (Carpiano, 2009) and unforeseen socio-spatial interactions than in traditional sitting face-toface interviews. Traditional interviews are often located in rooms with controlled lighting, thermostat-regulated temperature, prearranged furniture, and occurring behind closed doors. When conducted outdoors, go-along interviews are subject to environmental conditions and changes in weather. In a positivist tradition, interviews that were more clinical, scientific, controlled, and objective were seen as ideal and increasingly rigorous. In contrast, go-along interviews often entail encounters in less controlled conditions and require researcher-participant relationships grounded in reciprocity, cooperation, respect, and trust. In this article, I outline possibilities and limitations I encountered while trying to enact mobile methodologies. Specifically, I discuss my experiences enacting go-along semistructured qualitative interviews with self-identifying Mad and disabled research participants at two Canadian, Ontario university sites. I discuss mediating factors that shaped and constrained my use of go-along interviews and my process of enacting and embedding accessibility as an ethic throughout my research process. In this article, I discuss when research participants would rather not go-along. I draw on my postinterview journaling to reflect on my methodological mismatch and why mobile methods were rarely enacted with Mad and disabled research participants. I articulate the need for researchers to consider ableist/sanist structures when engaging in qualitative mobile methods. Theoretical Frameworks and Intersections: Critical Disability Studies, Mad Studies, and Geographies of Disability This research is intersectionally situated within the fields of Critical Disability Studies (CDS; Castrodale, 2015b; Qualitative Inquiry 00(0) Goodley, 2013, 2014; Liasidou, 2014; Meekosha & Shuttleworth, 2009), Mad Studies (Beresford, 2000; Beresford & Russo, 2016; Castrodale, 2015a; Church, 2015; Price, 2014; Reville, 2013), and Geographies of Disability (Castrodale & Crooks, 2010; Gleeson, 1999; Hansen & Philo, 1997; Imrie & Edwards, 2007; Park, Radford, & Vickers, 1998; Worth, 2008). CDS and Mad studies both draw directly on the often-subjugated knowledges of disabled and Mad persons to examine ableism and sanism in society (Castrodale, 2015b). As such, they seek to offer counternarratives that challenge the ways Mad and disabled persons are often pathologized, labeled, and individualized through biomedical understandings of disability and mental health. In particular, CDS and Mad studies examine knowledge–power relations shaping how Mad and disabled persons are constituted, represented, and how they may act with agency to craft their own subjectivities and challenge oppression. These disciplines thus frame my onto-epistemological approach toward disability-related research. The field of Geographies of Disability also informs my commitment to examining the socio-spatial oppression encountered by self-identifying Mad and disabled persons. Discursive power–knowledge relations shape individuals’ subjectivities. Research sites shape participants’ and researchers’ embodied subjectivities. Voice(s) have to find their place(s) (Lather, 2009). It is thus beneficial to theorize space and method (Gildersleeve & Kuntz, 2011) within Mad and disabled research contexts. Foucault (1972, 1979) and socio-spatial theorists, such as Lefebvre (2009) and Soja (1989), provide a socio-spatial theoretical framework to examine how university academic accommodations may function as regimes of truths that discursively and materially shape the lives of disabled and Mad students (Castrodale, 2015b). Foucault, Lefebvre, and Soja advance theories of space that conceptualize space as dynamic, shaped by actions. Furthermore, space and environmental structures discursively mediate peoples’ thoughts and actions. People are constituted in space, and also (re)act to shape those sites in which they inhabit, which Imrie and Edwards (2007) consider to be the “recursive relationship between identity and space” (p. 626). Such a philosophy of space and subjectivity considers relationships between people, embodiment, identity, functional capacities, and spatiality. This approach is commensurable with disability studies theorizing which locates disabling barriers and disablement in lived environments and not individuals. Socio-spatialities may (re)produce maddening and disabling processes. There are no universally accessible spaces; the ongoing struggle to (re)craft space is linked to freedom from oppression. Complex socio-spatial institutional knowledge–power relations shape notions of dis/ability and how disabled students become understood as mis/ fits in university settings. Mad and disabled persons struggle against normalizing, ableist, sanist, and oppressive 3 Castrodale socio-spatial arrangements and seek to find and forge more emancipatory spaces. Disabled and Mad persons also have agency to (re)shape their socio-spatial realms and challenge ableist oppressive societal barriers by acting in ways to (re) craft their own spaces (see Castrodale, 2015b). Qualitative Mobile Research Methodology In this article, I argue that research methods are mediated through socio-spatial knowledge–power relations that shape thoughts and actions. As McFarlane, Brookes, McInnes, and Cross (2013) note on the importance of considering the role of space in the research process with disabled persons, “how you use space to do research or how people experience their space and how that impacts on what they might have to say” (p. 795) represents an important deliberation. The places where research interviews happen matters and discursively shapes discussions. Mobile methodologies represent a paradigmatic shift in social inquiry aimed at studying movement in socio-spatial realms (Cresswell, 2010, 2012; Merriman, 2014; Urry, 2007; Sheller & Urry, 2006). As Sheller and Urry (2006) attest, “issues of movement, of too little movement or too much, or of the wrong sort or at the wrong time, are central to many lives and many organisations” (p. 208). Attention to movement of people and objects across space has been deemed the “mobility turn” in the social sciences, introducing greater socio-spatial analysis (Sheller & Urry, 2006, p. 208). “Accounting for mobilities in the fullest sense challenges social science to change both the objects of its inquiries and the methodologies for research” (Sheller & Urry, 2006, p. 208). Hein et al. (2008) argue that mobile methodological approaches to interviews more readily capture experiences of the environment through the material body as we sense place and movement. Disabled persons, with few exceptions (see Blewett & Hanlon, 2016; Parent, 2016), have remained absent in sociospatial mobility-focused research. When included in mobility-focused research, disabled persons have been cast and understood as predominantly immobile due to their lacking, impaired, insufficiently able-to-move bodies that are in need of rehabilitation. Yet, dis/abled subjectivities shape and are shaped by space. People agentically craft spaces, and social spaces also react back to mediate our embodied experiences and subjectivities. Disabled persons experience “disablement as a complex set of social processes acting to constrain or exclude people via the habituation of ableism in place” (Blewett & Hanlon, 2016, p. 47). Our surroundings, interactions, thoughts, actions, and stylized repetitious movements shape the materiality of bodies. Methodologies that capture movement and mobility reveal how people relate to particular spaces (Hein et al., 2008). Where and how interviews take place may be dis/ abling. This is particularly the case if we understand dis/ ability as contextual, changing, and mediated by socio-spatial-temporal knowledge–power relations. Yet, spatial theorizing of interview settings is often absent in discussions of how knowledge is socially constructed in research contexts. Researchers rarely theorize how interview sites may shape the knowledge(s) produced (Sin, 2003), which is something I seek to do in this article. Go-Along Interviews Go-along qualitative research interview techniques often entail researchers moving in social environments with participants while engaging in interview-inspired conversations. “Go-alongs combine the observation of everyday activities (as practiced in participant observation) with the respondent’s reflections as revealed in interviews” (Hein et al., 2008, p. 1275). Go-alongs allow researchers to observe their participants’ spatial practices in situ while accessing their experiences and interpretations at the same time (Brown & Durrheim, 2009; Hein et al., 2008). Often, participants guide the tour and direct the movement of goalongs (Brown & Durrheim, 2009). Thus, mobile methods capture complex interrelations between social actors in space and our interdependency in movement together as researchers-participants. Go-alongs allow researchers to better understand and perceive respondents’ daily interactions in local contexts (Kusenbach, 2003). According to Kusenbach (2003), goalong interviews are well suited for exploring and examining (a) informants’ knowledge, perceptions, and values guiding their experiences and interactions in social and physical environments; (b) spatial practices and the ways people engage with their lived environment; (c) the ties between biography and place; (d) social architecture of natural settings and how individuals situate themselves in various social settings; and (e) social realms and how place patterns and mediates social interactions. Go-along interviews allow observation and interaction with researcherparticipants in higher educational landscapes, as thoughts, behaviors, perceptions, intentions, and social interactions are mediated by particular institutional spaces. I suggest that go-along interviews are more dynamic than stationary interviews, as they actively engage participants in interaction and movement with/in their lived environments. As Carpiano (2009) states, “given that the respondent serves as a ‘tour guide’ for the researcher, the go-along helps to reduce typical power dynamics that exist between the interviewer and interviewee” (p. 267). Go-alongs thus increase participation and may attend to power–knowledge relations in the research process (Carpiano, 2009). Furthermore, goalong interviews may provide opportunities to meet and recruit additional research participants en route (Carpiano, 2009). Some noteworthy limitations of go-along interviews 4 Qualitative Inquiry 00(0) include conditions that are not in the control of the researcher such as weather and the health of respondents (Carpiano, 2009). Yet, in the case of my study, issues of health/illness and disability are part of the respondents’ lived realities and institutional milieu as material bodies interact in space; thus, these may also be considered as aspects of the lived and navigated environment captured by the go-along interview process. Importantly, within CDS, I argue that “go-along interviews offer key advantages over traditional interviews because they have the ability to focus on the person-place relationship” (Blewett & Hanlon, 2016, p. 49). Go-along interviews may represent a means for identifying processes of disablement and able-bodied privilege in situ. Within the person–place relationship, people must find space to fit in particular sites, to locate themselves, and to move in a variety of ways or not move at all and stay fixed in place. Go-along interviews thus may allow disabled persons to reveal processes of disablement, barriers in built environments, and how policies and practices shape exclusionary social realms (Blewett & Hanlon, 2016). Research Method and Context In my research, I drew on the perspectives of 14 self-identifying disabled students and three Mad students at two Ontario university case sites. I also interviewed one university disability office worker and three university instructors to offer triangulated accounts. I employed a case study methodology (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2000; Stake, 2000; Yin, 2006) to generate insights into knowledge– power relations shaping disabled and Mad students’ subjectivities. In my research, I addressed the following research questions: Research Question 1: How are disabled and Mad students constituted and represented in Ontario university settings? How do they understand and constitute themselves? Research Question 2: What are Mad and disabled students’ socio-spatial university experiences in relation to issues of access and academic accommodations? (see also Castrodale, 2015b). I most often identify as a temporarily able-bodied disability researcher, writer, university instructor, and disability advocate who has also experienced diagnosed depression (see also Castrodale & Zingaro, 2015). I often approach disability-related inquiry by working alongside others in a sustained ethic to promote access, engaging in different means and modes of communication(s) throughout the research process, and by negotiating the timings and spaces in which research takes place (Castrodale & Zingaro, 2015). As a researcher who engages in critical qualitative sociospatial inquiry (Castrodale, 2015b; Castrodale & Crooks, 2010; Castrodale & Lane, 2015; Castrodale & Zingaro, 2015), it was important for me to draw on Mad and disabled persons’ experiences to better understand their situated socio-spatial experiences. My intention to operationalize mobile methods in this context felt like a methodological flop. Out of 21 total participants, three chose to partake in mobile interviews. I used semistructured interviews that took a variety of formats including face-to-face, mobile (goalong), telephone, and email correspondence (Castrodale, 2015b). I met participants at library settings, at off-campus coffee shops, at their home, virtually via email, and by telephone—I met them where, when, and how they wanted to meet. Interview methods were discussed and decided together between researcher-participants, although as a researcher my desire was to try go-alongs as a novel way to appreciate participants’ situated socio-spatial experiences. I realized there is no one size fits all approach to engaging in disability-related research, and facilitating access requires reflexivity, reciprocity, and ongoing onto-epistemologicalethical commitments (Rose, 1997). I asked participants prior to and during research interviews why they desired their chosen methods. Participants themselves provided rationales as to why they did not want to engage in go-along methods. Through journaling and interview transcripts, I documented these discussions in the field and participants gave insights about socio-spatial power relations mediating their choice of interview technique. In these mobile go-along interviews, movement was to be guided and predominantly directed by participants. Yet, in this article, I discuss times when participants opted not to go-along and the implications this may have for researchers who wish to engage in mobile research methodologies with Mad and disabled persons. I highlight specifically the perspectives of three participants. Participants Zoe is a first-year undergraduate female participant who identified as nonvisibly disabled with working memory disability and process and speed disability. Stacey is a secondyear undergraduate, self-identifying Mad female participant, and former street-kid with invisible disabilities. Annie C is a second-year full-time PhD student who prefers places on campus of which she is very familiar, that are comfortable, and that do not make her body feel like an imposition. She engages in Feminist social justice work and troubles fat as a chosen embodiment in relation to discourses of fitness and the ideal normal body. Annie C identifies as “death fat” to counter biomedical terms such as obese and the biomedical gaze that devalues fat bodies and to speak back to biomedical knowledges where death is always perceived at her 5 Castrodale doorstep. Annie C blogs, engages in activism, and views reclaiming space as a transformative act. Analysis For this article, the primary question guiding my inquiry was “Why did participants trouble go-along interviews?” Journals were hand-coded using a form of Foucauldian (Foucault, 1972; 1979) discursive thematic socio-spatial analysis (Fereday & Muir-Cochrane, 2006). I approached the analysis of research journals guided by a discursive Foucauldian (Foucault, 1972; 1979) socio-spatial framework to examine issues of power–knowledge, surveillance, normalizing regimes, disability-related discourses, the biomedical gaze, and subjectivity. The analytical process involved five steps: (a) Researcher journal articles were compared with initial participant interview transcripts examining participants’ perspectives on mobile interviews and broader institutional socio-spatial relations; (b) a list of emergent themes was created; (c) codes were generated based on themes; (d) researcher journal entries were handcoded; and (e) participants’ perspectives in interviews and research literature were reviewed to (re)examine core themes. Recurrent themes included surveillance and the biomedical gaze, embodiment, and institutional barriers. These themes also articulate participants’ relationships with themselves and how they constitute and understand themselves while inhabiting, (re)crafting, and negotiating sociospatial environments. Participants noted that as Mad and disabled persons, they were subject to increased pathologization, negative attitudes, and biomedical discourses of rehabilitation and cure (Castrodale, 2015b). Their embodiments were related to physicality, impairments, aesthetic bodily form, and movement. Institutional barriers they encountered included physical structures and negative attitudes limiting their full participation in university as selfidentifying Mad and disabled persons (Castrodale, 2015b). These explanatory themes, commensurable with my theoretical framework and empirical evidence from participants’ interview perspectives, guided analysis of interview transcripts and my own postinterview research journaling. Institutional ableist/sanist attitudes and practices mitigated participants’ desire to partake in go-alongs, along with researcher and participants’ dis/abled embodiments. Enacting Mobile Methods With Disabled and Mad Persons I discuss next factors enabling and constraining my use of go-along interviews with participants. Mad and disabled participants were reluctant to engage in moving/go-along interviews for a number of reasons. My postinterview journals detail some reflections highlighting the constraints and factors and forces enabling my use of goalong interviews with participants. Below I detail three journal entries highlighting salient considerations and ponderings shaping my researcher deliberations of goalongs. These journal entries best spoke to locating ourselves and finding an adequate interview site in relation to ableist/sanist disciplinary regimes, and researcher-participant questions of embodiment. As I have noted above, weather conditions of cold, wet, ice, and snow likely also dissuaded participants from engaging in go-alongs. Indoor and face-to-face interviews were favored. For the three mobile interviews that took place, much of movement took place indoors, navigating university buildings and hallway corridors. I wanted to use mobile interview techniques to capture the socio-spatial experiences of disabled students in university settings. I drew on participants’ perspectives to appreciate and understand the meanings of spaces in which interviews took place. Finding Common Ground: Agreeing on a Location Participants chose interview location and technique. We had researcher-participant discussions via email prior to the interview about where and how interviews would take place. Different interview methods (email, telephone, faceto-face, and go-alongs) were instantiated at participants’ requests in an effort to render the research process increasingly accessible by demonstrating openness through accommodating a variety of interview modes and techniques (Castrodale, 2015b). Zoe and I met in [University Site 1] library . . . We decide on a location, it’s rainy outside making mobile interviews again difficult. I mention that videotaping is a possibility and that I am looking at socio-spatial impacts of disability-related policies and practices. Zoe notes that she does not have a mobility impairment, puzzled as to why space matters, or how examining accessibility and spatial impacts relates to her in that way . . . At the end of the interview I asked—“so what made you want to participate in this study?” She noted, “well my brain doesn’t work in ways like normal people— nondisabled students, so I hope the system changes” noting that her younger brother would be entering university and wanted to encourage a more accepting environment. The dialogue went back and forth, we were in a sort of visible location in a library on the 4th floor, not entirely quiet, she noted that this was good, that a little background noise helped her concentrate and focus . . . I was concerned about background noise, that my recording device wouldn’t pick up both voices, that perhaps the device would be faulty or cut out, that our conversation might be overheard. I asked about disability pride, always struggling, worried about using language in 6 Qualitative Inquiry 00(0) oppressive ways, not wanting to lead with questions, or categorize with labels, asking about impairment and disabilityrelated experiences is something I approached with care, pausing, using inflection . . . She took pride in [her disabled identity], but also noted that other students did not, disability is “not something most people take pride in.” (Castrodale, Researcher Journal) When deciding on an interview method together in discussions with participants, clarity of purpose and transparency in choosing a particular method or interview technique may have encouraged more participants to engage in goalong interviews. Agreeing upon a location was quite significant, as this was a way to open up the research process to be increasingly accessible and guided by participants’ desires to be located somewhere that is comfortable and also has meaning. Participants deliberatively selected locations that had meaning, places they frequented more often—institutional realms where they wanted to be. I worried about how noise and sound might impact my recording device—would I be able to hear our interview on the recording well enough for transcription? My unease was also felt while asking questions with other social actors, feeling myself as increasingly open to surveillance and scrutiny as a researcher. In many ways, however, such democratized choice of interview space, although not a go-along interview, still connected where we did the interview, at the library in an open space with chairs and much pedestrian traffic, to the participant’s want for background noise and sounds. Zoe’s desire for a sonorous space challenged my able-bodied notion that a sound-free space would have been ideal as a place situated for the interview. I realized in this early interview (the second one conducted among 21 total) that I needed to clearly articulate why mobile methods and go-along interviews are an interview technique I would like to employ. Interview method was opened to scrutiny and questioning from participants. I likely could have better explained my purpose and reasoning for go-along interviews in relation to this research; however, I also did not want to push my chosen methods on participants and favored providing interview format options decided in consultations together. Participants without mobility impairments also troubled the use and purpose of go-along interviews, often stating that they did not experience barriers in built environments and, therefore, did not see the point of moving through the institution to discuss barriers to access and academic accommodations. The rationale “fit” between go-along interviews as a viable method reflected in the intentions and purposes of this research was questioned by participants, and rightly so. The need to reflect deeper on the limitations of mobile methods while engaging in research with marginalized persons is an important methodological reflection. A methodological technique of interviewing also entails a deeper questioning of embodiment and lived experiences. When participants are asked to move, the questions of how, why, and for what purpose become salient considerations. Power relations in institutional spaces enable and constrain movements. In my study, participants with invisible impairments often did not see the need to engage in go-alongs, as it was thought of as a means to predominantly identify physical-structural barriers in the built environment, which they themselves, not having any mobility impairments, did not encounter. Familiar Space: Positionality and Location I often met with participants at a particular campus location that was agreed upon and left openness for participants to find a place on campus to do the interview. In this way, we moved together to find our place. I wrote about this in my research journal. Stacey and I met at [University Site 1]. I was approached with the words “Mark” not in a bashful way, but with certainty. I asked, “Where we should go from here?” Stacey—“How about outside? I smoke, do you mind if I smoke,” she said. I tried to read her body language . . . we spoke and smiled. I asked how her year was going and off we went . . . My [researcher] role was asked. [Stacey asked] What do you see this research doing? What do you hope for this research? She shares a poem describing the university as HOME. Home, with all its deep meanings . . . a space that represents home, community. It is her first home; the one she sleeps and stays at is her second. The university as home is something I never considered. A safe space, a social space, an activist space . . . Mental health issues discussed, there was engagement, pride, Mad pride, activism . . . She stood out . . . talking in courses (psychology) giving lectures guest talks . . . We spoke as people walked about. Sometimes feeling others close or watching. We were at outside benches near the doors of the student centre chess table area smokers’ section. This was her space; this was her community, where friends met. This was where she took me. This was where the interview took place, sitting down, not filmed, not a mobile moving interview, but so much movement around us, people, voices, all moving and blending about. Dynamic space for an interview not a closed room, static, isolated space; it makes things more real, lively, vivid . . . Disability as mental health produced as a product of a life that was not easy, but now also full of rich HOPE and optimism . . . Afterward, we walked and spoke more. (Castrodale, Research Journal) Interviews revealed how one’s positionality is interconnected with others and how social actors (re)act to craft socio-spatial realms in which the interviews may take place. Socio-spatial temporal norms (re)produce disablement but may also create community spaces, spaces of comfort and care (Freund, 2001). Bodies encounter other bodies, making sense of the world through interactions in sense-scapes in moments of co-presence (Büscher & Urry, 2009). Even Castrodale though our interview was not a go-along, in many ways, from the meeting at the library to walking together to the sit-down tables, we found our place. Stacey shared with me her place on campus. This was a site of community, a place that richly represented home. She shared poetry with me, and challenged me to think about where we were located for this interview; we were in the place where she met her friends and at one point in the interview we met another person who briefly said hello and conversed before passing by. Even though we were mostly sedentary, together we gazed at others moving about, we talked about socio-spatiality in place, and this was moving. Remaining fixed, staying in place like centrifugal bodies, relationally moving as bodies move around us, more than passive observers or voyeurs, we challenged the parameters of what it means to move. Motion is relative, as objects and people crossed paths, moving together in time and space. After the formal research interview concluded, we briefly walked and talked, for moments becoming intentionally mobile together. Bodies and Space: Where We Fit When Going Along Interview spaces may also illuminate oppressive structures in the built environment, discourses surrounding fitness, and bodily shape and form. Finding comfort means finding one’s place. I met with Annie C who forever challenged me to think about fat as a chosen embodiment and the implications of body-size and space. In this way, spaces were understood as architecturally designed with a certain Vitruvian body in mind, of particular proportions, height, width, and weight. Not all people have equal mobility, control of mobility, and power (Sheller & Urry, 2006). Institutional, oppressive structures (re)produce oppressive structures mitigating movement. Annie C identifies as “death fat.” I was immediately taken back by this term, asking for clarification originally thinking it was “def fat” (in my mind meaning definitely fat). She proudly stated that she was unashamed of being fat, that critical fat studies brought her to this point. Her identity tied to her academic life and perhaps vice versa. I struggled to use her language. Do I have the right to use it? Can I resonate with what she was saying and repeat those words? Words such as fat, represented a derogatory way of speaking of another individual; to call her fat would be rude (wouldn’t it?). My skinniness became obvious, my skinny male, white embodiedself felt odd sitting in this chair that was crafted for my body, made for people like me. I felt uncomfortable; yet I knew that this was a palpable discomfort, one that was likely fleeting, temporary, and a confrontation with my own privilege that would likely soon go away. She told me how certain chairs with arms leave little space for her body, that she was ridiculed in front of an entire lecture hall, that spaces are not designed for her in mind, and that people actively create campaigns to 7 eliminate her body type. Her devalued embodied existence that became known to me through her words was one that she valued. She engaged in blogging, self-advocacy counternarratives reaffirming her own fat identity and self-worth. The interview took place in a small room with a table; it was an open, calm space, with natural light, bookshelves, couches and pillows. It was bright, clean, carpeted, and airy. People could enter and leave as they pleased, but it was a space for her program, where individuals came to read, eat, and chat. She said she chose it because this was her space. Because the chairs in here didn’t all have arms, because the table felt right, and she knew it. I was welcomed into this space by Annie C, and doing the interview here brought me closer into her world. Her body movements, gestures, took up space, she sometimes would scrunch her body, noting that even doing so, she occupied space, and that was what she did, her embodied existence was always attached to socio-spatial awareness—one that was heightened and ongoing. She spoke of ebbs and flows of people in the hallways and how the current of people would drift more quickly around her, along the “edges” as she moved in the middle. A mobile interview wasn’t desired; I offered one, but I think the idea of moving about through the campus heightens scrutiny and surveillance; this made it not the ideal method for doing such research. It had to be thrown out once more. (Castrodale, Research Journal) Participants often noted they were concerned about heightened exposure to surveillance. Movement through the institution via mobile interviews was thus considered to be risky. Annie C noted how her body, through a dominant ableist-gendered pathologizing biomedical gaze, was read as unhealthy, unfit, and devalued. She articulated how space matters and how she was very aware of institutional space designed not with her body in mind. Spaces are thus integral for embodied movements (Merriman, 2014). Through critical approaches to disability and space, Annie C was able to speak to the alienation and oppression she encountered and the importance of occupying space and challenging others to understand those spaces we all occupy and inhabit. To create increasingly accessible and inclusionary spaces would entail valuing diverse raced-classed-gendered-sexeddisabled-bodies at the intersections. Researchers often focus mobility inquiry on certain mobile subjects, active movements, and may advance “a rather limited sense of what movement and mobility are” (Merriman, 2014, p. 177), with little “attention to infrastructures, technologies, materialities, and spaces that are integral to the embodied movements of human subjects” (Merriman, 2014, p. 177). Fat embodiment devalued in institutional spaces recognizes how not engaging in mobile methods may attest to how spaces are structured to limit movement, block access for Annie C. Immobility is not rooted in the individual but in institutional structures, policies, and alienating attitudes. Embodied agency (Freund, 2001) of disabled persons is thus a necessary consideration when engaging in mobile methods. The university 8 was revealed as a site that privileges not just normal or able-bodied ways of being “the university is the place for the very able” (Dolmage, 2008, p. 166). Universities represent exclusionary spatio-temporal realms predominantly designed by and for the exceptionally able (Dolmage, 2008). Reconsidering Go-Alongs Disabled and Mad participants connected surveillance to the increased potential of experiencing greater disciplinary consequences (Castrodale, 2015b). Disabled participants noted consequences, such as being known as disabled stigmatized devalued lesser persons who are also speaking negatively about the institution (Castrodale, 2015b). Being known by others was thus a salient concern particular for participants with nonvisible disabilities who noted that in many circumstances they were able to pass as able-bodied individuals and disclose their disability at their own discretion. Disabled participants with nonvisible disabilities thereby controlled when and with whom they entrusted with knowledge of themselves as disabled persons. While participants with visible disabilities, some of whom used mobility devices, noted that navigating the institution had exclusionary barriers, steep steps, inaccessible washrooms, areas with too much pedestrian traffic, and doors without accessible push-button openers. The institution was an exclusionary space that was difficult to move within (Castrodale, 2015b). Methods may reveal much about a researcher’s own positionality and privilege (Chouinard, 2000). I was disappointed by the lack of interest in go-along interviews. Yet, upon deeper reflection, although I was eager to move with participants, I needed to reflect more deeply about my own ease and access afforded by my White able-bodied mobile privilege to move in institutional spaces without discrimination or increased exposure to a pathologizing biomedical gaze. Mobility and movement thus represent sites of access and privilege. Eager to move with participants, I did not beforehand question my own able-bodied ease and access to move in higher educational sites. As a White, male, able-bodied researcher, I had to unpack my own socio-spatial privilege, of which I learned a great deal from my participants. When female participants noted unsafety and real threats of violence on university campuses, I realized my male-patriarchal gender privilege. When participants who experienced steps instead of ramps were excluded access to buildings, my able-bodied privilege and mobility, “the very act of walking . . . [as] a natural ability” (Parent, 2016, p. 524), was again exposed. A participant who identified as “death fat” showed me how chairs were designed with my skinny body in mind, and here, I felt my body shrinking in my seat—a seat that was made by people like me for me. My postures, my movements, and Qualitative Inquiry 00(0) my visible embodied Self afforded me a normative comfort and institutional ease of movement and access. Mobile methods may also provide deep insights into able-bodied, socio-spatial privilege. Although I most often identify as an able-bodied individual, I disclosed and discussed my past experiences with depression as a nonvisible disability with certain participants (see Castrodale, 2017; Castrodale & Zingaro, 2015). Yet, as a White, ablebodied heterosexual researcher, I moved through institutional spaces with few boundaries, physical or attitudinal, limiting my use and occupation of higher educational spaces. With few exceptions, I was able to enter and exit various institutional realms as I pleased. I walked the hallways, opened doors, traversed steps, accessed printed materials, and socialized with others. I fit quite well within institutional socio-spatial-temporal norms, and it was a very neat fit. Mobile interviews highlight relationships between people and socio-spatial environments. As Devault and Gross (2012) attest, “ability structures interview encounters in powerful ways” (p. 214) and able-bodied researchers should be cautious about assumptions where “interview techniques are designed with particular verbal and cognitive capacities in mind” (p. 214). Accessibility concerns relating to physical and attitudinal barriers represent a significant rationale shaping participants’ desires to engage in particular research interview methods. I suggest researchers should consider the following when engaging in go-along interviews with disabled and Mad participants: 1. Go-along interviews may heighten the visibility/ possible exposure to disciplinary surveillance through a biomedical gaze aimed at marginalized Mad and disabled persons in the institutional environment. 2. Go-along interviews may (re)expose participants to oppression relating to barriers, physical and attitudinal, limiting their access in particular built environments. 3. Participants questioned the use of mobile interviews as a methodology, often asking why engage in moving interviews. This was often related to research participants’ own embodiments and presence or absence of mobility-related impairments; thus, it is important to consider participants’ and researchers’ own material embodiments. 4. Traditional interview methods may be more familiar, and thus, people may favor such methods. In my research, face-to-face sit-down interviews were seen as the standard predominant interview style. 5. Practically, mobile interviews are unpredictable and outdoor weather conditions mediate researcher-participants’ desire and ability to do the interview. 9 Castrodale 6. Go-along interviews may result in unforeseen conditions, circumstances, and social interactions that require way-finding and navigational decisions to be made as to where to go next, requiring trust, interdependency, and joint decision making on the part of researchers and participants. Conclusion There is a need to reflect more deeply on the use of mobile methods and the methodological limitations of mobile methods in research with often-marginalized persons, specifically Mad and disabled persons. Mobile methods may capture unique socio-spatial experiences and thus represent a viable tool for understanding institutional layers of oppression inscribed in space. Yet, in the case of Mad and disabled persons, there is a need to consider methodological fit of interview method—who, where, and why mobile methods may be instantiated. In this article, I discussed times when mobile interviews were troubled, when they did not happen or take place in the ways I had imagined. Nevertheless, questioning mobility throughout the research process revealed much about why participants selected the interview sites they did. Interviews took place at sites that had meaning for participants. Democratizing where the interviews took place opened avenues of agency and voice. Disabled and Mad participants purposefully selected those places that mattered and had meaning to them in ways that challenged institutional dominant able-bodied norms and privilege. Initially, I believed that the fact that most participants opted not to engage in mobile methods was a shortcoming of my research and demonstrated a poor choice of method. I felt it was a personal failure where I did not select the right tools to get at the types of socio-spatial knowledge(s) I had envisioned. I now understand go-along interviews as not representing an ultimate destination or series of indiscriminate locations but as a cultivated relationship between Self/ Others/Space(s) where we all find ourselves. There are some places we all cannot go. Unpacking no-go places challenges vectors of privilege and reveals ableist and sanist attitudes and practices operating to craft where we can go and where people may not enter, or enter provisionally so long as they operate within dominant contextual socio-spatial-temporal norms. There is a need to thus unpack these liminal spaces in-between Self-Other and our relationships in space (Fine, 1998). Fine (1998) refers to working the hyphen between Self-Other as introspective thinking about how people are constituted, and how our subjectivities interconnect, and are mediated by power– knowledge webs. Mad and disabled participants may trouble able-bodied research practices, the normative spaces and paces of research. My own embodiment as a researcher was opened to scrutiny, and participants revealed my able-bodied privilege to me through their insights. Mobile qualitative inquiry requires unpacking socio-spatial relationships to understand not only how people are positioned but also how societal spaces may position us. Moreover, engaging in mobile methodological research demonstrates how research moves us, entails movement, and how any movement through space is a socio-political act. When research is immobile, that also speaks to the factors mediating how we move, who can move freely, and when and why me might stay put— fixed in place. Through trying to go-there with my participants, I realized that going anywhere with others entails relationships, mediated through broader systemic structures. Mad and disabled participants identified ableist and sanist socio-spatialtemporalities as creating access barriers limiting their participation. Universities represented exclusionary and disabling spaces (Dolmage, 2008). The deeply embedded sanist/ableist nature of university settings is reflected through physical barriers, negative attitudes, and pathologizing surveillance. These disciplinary layers of oppression made go-along interviews a tough sell for many of my Mad and disabled participants. The go-along interview is political, as an interview technique it represents a rich tool to open up new spaces, places, and platforms for the oftensubjugated voices of Mad and disabled persons to enter, counter socio-spatial inequalities, and proliferate. Now, can we go-along? Acknowledgement I would like to thank Dr. Valorie Crooks for her insights and for suggesting go-along interviews. I would also like to thank Dr. Wayne Martino for his academic vision and support. Declaration of Conflicting Interests The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article. 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Green, G. Camilli, & P. B. Elmore (Eds.), Handbook of complementary methods in education research (pp. 111-122). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Zarb, G. (1992). On the road to Damascus: First steps towards changing the relations of disability research production. Disability, Handicap and Society, 7, 125-138. Author Biography Mark Anthony Castrodale completed his PhD in Education at Western University (Canada) with a particular interest in examining the socio-spatial experiences of self-identifying Mad and disabled students in higher education. Castrodale focuses on sociospatial inquiry, militarism, education policies and critical pedagogy, and has been published in Disability Studies Quarterly, Disability and Society, the Canadian Journal of Disability Studies, Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, Atlantis, the University of Alberta Press, and the Canadian Journal for the Study of Adult Education. He draws on the fields of Mad Studies and Critical Disability Studies as a way to trouble ableist and sanist attitudes, policies, and practices.