The idea to ask a stranger to share their diary entry with a group of distant researchers may seem odd at first. We thought it may be worth briefly exploring the reasons behind it.
We have been awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council to explore what makes people feel safe or unsafe in their daily lives in a town like Macclesfield. Our project is titled, ‘Place, Crime and Insecurity in Everyday Life’ (Security in Place in short) and explores how safety relates to where people live their everyday lives.
As part of this research we are asking Macclesfield residents - and those with a strong connection to the town - to participate by keeping a diary with the following questions in mind:
What worries you about safety in the town? What do you hope for?
We chose a diary to connect with Macclesfield residents because:
The invitation for diaries is part of our adaptation of the way we work during Covid-19. We wanted to ensure that we understand more about what concerns Macclesfield residents during this period at a time when we cannot carry out our everyday face to face research activities in Macclesfield due to restrictions.
We wanted to get closer to Macclesfield as a place to live, work and spend time in, to gain a wider understanding of its safety. Under current conditions of the pandemic, we are not able to continue getting to know it in person, in the way the project had envisaged and the way we would have wished.
We see a diary entry as an attempt to connect with the multiple, mundane activities of their homes, neighbourhoods, daily commute, and other spaces in their everyday lives. And yes, we need to do it remotely now.
So rather than us, researchers, going to the public places where people gather, shop, walk, work, debate, make crafts or listen to music, we invite residents and those connected with Macclesfield to share that fragment of their everyday life with us. The invitation is open to Macclesfield residents/employees/volunteers/regular visitors.
We wish to hear as many local voices as possible, so that we could draw an accurate picture – in fact, multiple pictures - of what the town feels like to live in right now. We are aware that people are juggling many commitments during this time and we are trying to encourage people to participate without creating a burden for them. This is why we are inviting contributions in flexible formats (writing, photo, audio, video) and flexible durations (just one diary entry or up to seven). Participants can write, draw, record an audio or video, and-or take a picture with this question in mind: what worries you, what do you hope for? We are interested in how people feel about their safety in their daily lives in Macclesfield.
We ask for people’s story, narrated in a way that is most comfortable for them so that we know what are the most important challenges, worries, and hopes in regard to security in the town. Your diaries may inform what we should focus on next as we continue to explore what it means to be and feel safe and unsafe in Macclesfield.
Details on how to participate: https://securityinplace.org/blog/22-your-diary-entry-about-life-macclesfield/ Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org
So, if you are connected to Macclesfield and want to get involved, we look forward to hearing from you!
Security in Place team
We are also using other exciting methods in this project; more information here: https://securityinplace.org/about project/what we are doing/
Revised: 27 Oct 2020, 11 a.m.