Job Title: Linked WISERD Researcher
Institution: Cardiff University
Telephone: 029 208 70330
Formerly a WISERD researcher, I have been a Lecturer in Social Sciences since September 2012.
My research is concerned with the everyday life of urban public spaces. I am interested in both the street-level politics and the mundane accomplishment of public space in the context of regeneration and renewal. I am, as such, also interested in investigating issues pertaining to urban design, architecture and the built environment. These themes have been addressed through research on everyday sense-making in regenerated space, practices of street-based welfare and vulnerable urban groups and, most recently, an investigation of co-operative mobility practices.
My work is primarily sociological and, specifically, draws upon the interactionist tradition and the work of Erving Goffman. It is, however, also influenced by interdisciplinary work on mobility, space and place. I have an abiding interest in social science methodology.
I continue to publish, with Dr Tom Hall, from the completed ‘Urban Patrols’ WISERD project. This was a field study of street based professionals whose roles are understood as mobile and spatial practices that relate to forms of ‘care and repair’ (both material and social) in the city centre. This involved (participant) observation with diverse patrols such as outreach services attending to vulnerable adults (rough sleepers, street drinkers, sex workers) street cleansing crews, and Police Community Support Officers. The research was particularly concerned with the provision of welfare to, and regulation of, vulnerable and problematic street populations, but also documenting and analysing local knowledge in relation to (pedestrian) mobility practices.
I am currently exploring further avenues of research which investigate the relationship between urban design, the built environment and interaction.
Smith, R.J. and Hetherington, K. (Eds.) (In Press) Urban Rhythms: Mobilities, Space and Interaction in the contemporary city Sociological Review Monograph Series. Chichester: Wiley
Smith, R.J. (In Press) ‘Symbolic Interaction’ in E. Mason-Whitehead, E., A. Mcintosh and D. Coyle Key Concepts in Healthcare Research. London: Sage
Smith, R.J. and Hall, T. (In Press) ‘No time out: mobility, rhythmicity and urban patrol in the twenty-four hour city’ in R.J. Smith, and K. Hetherington (Eds.) (In Press) Urban Rhythms: Mobilities, Space and Interaction in the contemporary city Sociological Review Monograph Series. Chichester: Wiley
Smith, R.J. (2013) Accounting for the landscape of regeneration: spatial membership, categorisation practices and the moral order of commonsense topographies. Space and Culture 16(1): 43-59
Smith, R.J. (2011) Goffman’s Interaction Order at the Margins: Stigma, role, and normalisation in the outreach encounter. [Special Issue: Interaction] Symbolic Interaction 34(3): 357-376
Smith, R.J., Heley, J., Stafford, I. (2011) Woolworths and Wales: A multi-dimensional analysis Sociological Research Online16 (1)
Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2013) Knowing the city: maps, mobility and urban outreach work. Qualitative Research [Online First. 24/01/13] DOI: 10.1177/1468794112469623
Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2012) Stop and go: a field study of pedestrian practice, immobility and urban outreach work. Mobilities. [Online First, 25/03/12] DOI:10.1080/17450101.2012.659470
Hall, T. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Walking, Welfare and the Good City Anthropology in Action 18(3): 33-44
Housely, W. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Mundane reason, membership categorization practices and the everyday ontology of space and place in interview talk. Qualitative Research 11(6): 698-715
Housley W. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Telling the CAQDAS Code: Membership Categorization and the Accomplishment of ‘Coding Rules’ in Research Team Talk Discourse Studies 13(4): 417-434
Housley, W. and Smith, R.J. (2010) Innovation and Reduction in Qualitative Methods: The Case of Conceptual Coupling, Activity-Type Pairs and Auto-Ethnography Sociological Research Online 15 (4)
Housley, W., Moles, K., and Smith, R.J. (2009) Identity, Brand or Citizenship: The Case of Post-Devolution Wales Contemporary Wales 22: 196-210
Smith, R.J. (2012) How far does mobility get us? Sociology 45 (6): 555-561
Housley, W. and Smith, R.J. (2011) Stripping Out the Social: Innovation and Reduction in Contemporary Qualitative Methods Qualitative Researcher Spring
Smith, R.J. (2011) Whose Method is it Anyway? Researching space, setting, and practice Cardiff University Working Paper Series Paper 135