Interviews, receipts, recordings. This is the currency of fieldwork.
I interview gay men who use the digital apps Grindr and Scruff to understand how technology affects people’s everyday practice in London.
I knew my interviews would be fascinating – sex, after all, is fascinating. But what I was unprepared for is how rich the stories would be. Young or old, shy or outspoken: the men I interview pour out their stories. They talk and talk.
I understand for the first time what it means to be an active listener. I hear their stories and wind them into a bigger narrative: a narrative which presents their experience to audiences who might not normally listen.
Sam is a second year Geography PhD student at Queen Mary, University of London. His research combines sexuality and space studies with digital technology to understand the impact of GPS media on queer space-making practices. @sammiles87