Children, Mobility, and Space: Using GPS and Mobile Phone Technologies in Ethnographic Research

Pia Christensen, Miguel Romero Mikkelsen, Thomas Alexander Sick Nielsen, Henrik Harder

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This article discusses the potentials of a mixed methods approach to the study of children’s mobility patterns. The methodology presented here combined ethnographic fieldwork with global positioning system technology and an interactive questionnaire that children completed via mobile phone. This innovative methodology allowed the researchers to generate a rich understanding of children’s everyday movements. The study combined documentation of children’s subjective experiences with systematic observations, mapping, and survey data. The article sets out lessons learned for future mixed methods research into children’s everyday mobility. One such lesson was that it required the interdisciplinary research team to cooperate closely through dialogue, support, and coordination of activities and perspectives. The approach also promoted the children’s commitment to the study.
Keyword: Mobility,GPS technologies,Ethnography,Children,Mixed methods
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Mixed Methods Research
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)227-246
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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