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‘Am I Being Unreasonable’ to use Mumsnet to explore historical geographies of childhood in domestic spaces?

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2/01/2024
<mark>Journal</mark>Social and Cultural Geography
Issue number1
Number of pages17
Pages (from-to)123-139
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date11/10/22
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This paper addresses the potential for using childhood memories shared on social media as a means of interrogating experiences of twentieth-century social historical geographies of home and family life. In so doing, the paper discusses briefly the value of children’s perceptions as guests in others’ homes as an insightful source of data, before exploring the value of social media as a place for sharing these recollections and accessing them as a researcher. The paper draws data from a thread on the popular UK-based parenting website and internet discussion space, ‘Mumsnet’, asking contributors to share the ‘weirdest’ thing they saw at someone else’s house when they were a child. This paper positions social media research as an ethically, epistemologically and ontologically sound approach to creating data for geographical research, which has become well-established in other sub-disciplines. The paper seeks to explore what it is to remember intimate childhood experience alongside those whose memories might reflect or conflict with your own. Further, the paper addresses the way in which a social media thread created new narratives and uncovered long-buried memories which provide an insightful lens for exploring a particular domestic historical geography.