Ged Ridley

PgR Student, School of Geography, Politics and Sociology

Please describe your current research interests/projects. 

My current project is my PhD that looks at transgender people and their experiences of public bathrooms.  

Why did you choose this field? / Can you tell me how you got into research? 

My initial interest in the project was a personal one. As a trans person myself I have had issues using public bathrooms, and realised as a person engaged with academia I had the skills to explore this in detail and present it in way that could lead to some positive change.  

What are the main methods you use, how and why? 

The project used semi structured interviews, this was mostly due to engaging in research with marginalised community. Trans people have historically been ignored from research or tokenised by using semi structured interviews I aimed to ensure that people from a marginalised community had their voices heard and researched in a meaningful way and crucially with a focus on using their own words.  

Which methods excite you? 

Auto ethnography and ethnography, I think the position of the researcher, especially for insiders doing research is both interesting and important. Both these methods force researchers to really reflect on who they are, how research is done and the impact this has on the participants/community. 

Are there any methods you’d like to explore? 

Going forward I would be interested in more creative practise again to give people more of chance to express themselves outside of traditional methods. I believe these kind of methods have the potential to be more empowering, interesting and useful for the participants as well as the researcher.   

Who inspires you methodologically? 

Kath Browne 

What, about methods, did you wish your younger self had known? 

That none of them are perfect! Whatever you pick you’ll feel like there’s something missing. There isn’t one or any combination that will produce “perfect” data.  

Have you had any memorable methodological blunders? 

Don’t put a Dictaphone under or near air vents, air cons or coffee machines because that’s all the mic will pick up and it makes transcribing a nightmare!   

Which upcoming ECR or PgR should we look out for? 

Ale Boussalem  

If you could recommend students read just one text on methods (book or journal article), what would it be? 

Misgav, C. (2016). Some Spatial Politics of Queer-Feminist Research: Personal Reflections From the Field. Journal of Homosexuality. Vol.63(5), pp.719-739