The research utilised mixed methodologies to examine how rural residents experienced and perceived conditions in the 21st century English countryside. These included a rapid appraisal participatory mapping to generate a baseline of local concerns and recruit participants for in-depth discussion groups. The group meetings then combined vignette techniques from social qualitative research to investigate local knowledge of inequalities and adapted them to include participatory mapping to capture participant understandings in a spatial framework.
The stakeholder supplied information was then analysed in a participatory geographic information system and qualitative software to investigate whether place plays a role in perceptions of unfairness or injustice and how residents are differentially affected by rural conditions.
These novel mixed participatory methods are described and linked to highlights of the findings of the participatory geographic information system analysis of local stakeholder’s perceptions of inequalities in rural England.