Wijngaarden, Vanessa (2017). Q method and ethnography in tourism research: Enhancing insights, comparability and reflexivity. Current Issues in Tourism, 20(8), 869-882. (doi: 10.1080/13683500.2016.1170771) (available: http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/rx6YWRyw5Kf8bpyuZds4/full) (previously listed as online)

Abstract: Whereas other writers have recently presented Q method as an option for use in combination with traditional surveys, I employed the mind-mapping technique within a deeply qualitative approach. Showing how the Q method adds value to reflexive ethnography, I highlight the extended possibilities for its application in tourism studies. The method allows qualitative researchers’ novel entries into the perspectives and lived experiences of hosts as well as guests, providing enough rigidness to enhance their systematic handling and comparability, while being flexible enough to do justice to their complexities and nuances. The Q method can successfully be embedded in ethnographic fieldwork practices and used even with illiterate people. By adding themselves as a research participant, researchers can reflect intensely on their own subjective understandings and positions, as well as on their methodological approaches. This is of special value in tourism studies where extended reflexivity is especially urgent, because researchers are often placed in the same category as tourists by their research participants.

Vanessa Wijngaarden <vanessa.wijngaarden@gmail.com> is in the School of Communication, University of Johannesburg, South Africa.