Qualitative Data and Approaches to Population–Environment Inquiry

Research output: Contribution in Book/Catalog/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter highlights the contribution of qualitative methods for understanding the population–environment nexus. A brief overview is offered of a variety of qualitative methods: in-depth interview, focus groups, participant observation, ethnography, and drawing. Then, the chapter presents three concrete examples of population–environment research aimed at illustrating the selection and application of appropriate tools to build qualitative knowledge. These research examples engage various time periods and diverse settings, and they combine to illustrate core dimensions of qualitative investigation including diverse methodologies such as interviews, participatory mapping, participant observation, and observant participation, photo-language, and the use of a game. The first example addresses the intersection between scientific and local knowledge, the second explores individuals’ experiences within their environment, and the third illustrates the participatory action research process. Within the description of each example, the decision-making processes around data collection and analysis are detailed. In each case, the process of interpretation is also described.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Handbook of Population and Environment
EditorsLori M. Hunter, Clark Gray, Jacques Véron
Place of PublicationSwitzerland
PublisherSpringer, Cham
Number of pages25
ISBN (Electronic) 978-3-030-76433-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-76432-6
Publication statusPublished - 7 Feb 2022

Publication series

NameInternational Handbooks of Population
ISSN (Print)1877-9204
ISSN (Electronic)2215-1877


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