Comparative urban research and mass participation running events: methodological reflections

Clare Herrick in Qualitative Research. Volume 15, number 3, June 2015. 

This article ruminates on a research project comparing the relationships between two mass participation running events (MPREs) – Newcastle’s Great North and Addis Ababa’s Great Ethiopian Run – and their public health, development and place promotion objectives. It argues that the disjuncture between the intentions of the research framework and the actions necessitated by the reality of the field facilitates a deeper engagement with the two interwoven conceptual spheres within which the research is situated: comparative urbanism and event studies. Moreover, it contends that the persistent neglect of the pragmatic challenges of event research within the literature risks underplaying the multi-dimensional networks that link MPREs, their host cities and an emergent global political economy of running and runners. As such, a critical engagement with the methodological conundrums posed by event-led comparative research is not to admit its failure, but rather to demonstrate the importance of flexibility and openness when working across diverse contexts.

Available online via SAGE Journals [sub required].

Image via Andrew Heavens.


Publication Type Journal Article
Publisher Qualitative Research
Year 2015
Author(s) Clare Herrick
DOI 10.1177/1468794113509260
Read older posts from this section

Leave a Reply