Participant Information Sheet for Souvenirs’ Home Placement Studies

INFORMATION SHEET FOR PARTICIPANTS   – HOME PLACEMENT  

 

I would like to invite you to participate in this original research project. You should only participate if you want to; choosing not to take part will not disadvantage you in any way. Before you decide whether you want to take part, it is important for you to understand why the research is being done and what your participation will involve. Please take time to read the following information carefully and discuss it with others if you wish. Ask me if there is anything that is not clear or if you would like more information.

 

General information

 

Project TitleSouvenir Geographies

 

ResearcherZhuyun Amy Zang (Royal Holloway, University of London)  Researcher No. 100750439

 

Research Aims

This project is committed to empirical research, aiming to explore how the tourist souvenirs ‘make’ places in a quadruple-layer: making site, tourist site, non-place(e.g. airports) site and tourist’s home. The process of place making by tourist souvenir is revealed by following the tourist souvenirs.

 

Participant Information for Home Placement studies

Based on our previous contact, I take you willing to take part in the Home Placement studies. So now you are reading the participant information for just Home Placement studies.

 

  •  When and Where Will the Study Take Place?

The study will take place in your home at a time that is convenient to you.

  • l How Long Will the Study Last?

It will take around 15to 25 mins for a participant to prepare a camera/mobile phone, take photos of his/her souvenirs and send the photos back to me.

  • What Will You Be Asked to Do?

Please take photos of your souvenirs. Four kinds of photos are wanted. Firstly is a long shot, better showing your room environment and where you keep your souvenirs. In this photo, the place where you store your souvenirs might be very small or does not show directly in the picture. For example, if you store you souvenir in a draw, please take a photo of your room; if you have a oven glove as your souvenir and you are using it, please take a photo of your kitchen. Secondly is a middle shot. In this photo, please show me the placement of your souvenirs and its spational relationship with other souvenirs. For example, if you keep souvenirs in a draw, take a photo of all the souvenirs in this draw. Thirdly is a close-up of the souvenir. Please give me a close shot of the souvenir from which I can identify what is it. It will be better to have a fourth photo which is the label of the souvenir, showing where it is produced etc..

After taking the photos, please tell me the story of your souvenirs (I am sure you must have a lot to say about it). For example, you can start with WHAT, WHERE, WHEN, HOW, with WHO you got your souvenirs.

  • l How would the images and information collected be used?

The images and information collected will be used exclusively for my PhD project: Souvenir Geographies, including being part of my PhD thesis (presentations, publications), and being posted on the souvenir geographies blog if permitted.

  • l Would personal details be anonymized?

Participants’ locations, nationality, gender and age group are the information needed. Other personal details such as images, names will remain anonymised.

  • Is there an opportunity to review how the information is being used in advance?

I will create a doc. file for each participant and can send this word.doc to participants. Unfortunately, because of the amount of participants I will have, and time schedule, I will not send out my PhD thesis for participants to review, but all the information used in the thesis will be from the word.doc file.

  • l Are you able to provide assurance of how the images provided would be stored and later destroyed at the appropriate time?

The PhD thesis will be hand in to Geography Department in Royal Holloway, University of London in August 2016, and it will be stored there and its electrical version will be available to students in RHUL. The information on the project’s blog will also be there. None of them are planned to be destroyed.

  • l Over what time period and by what means should I be collecting images?

It is noticeable that souvenirs placement do change from time to time. It is totally up to you which souvenir (from which time) you want to share the information. I appreciate all the information provided. You can send me photos many time, just need to inform me.

  • Are There Any Benefits Involved in Participating?

At the conclusion of the project, I will send you a newsletter describing the major findings and alerting you to any research publications we have generated from the project.

  • l What If I Have Questions about the Project?

Please contact me by email at email address, by phone at mobile number, or by post at university address. You can also contact me by messaging on Facebook, @ me on twitter, and commenting on the project’s blog.

 

 

 

 

It is up to you to decide whether to take part or not. If you decide to take part you are still free to withdraw at any time and without giving a reason. You may withdraw your data from the project at any time up until the PhD thesis is submitted (August 2016). If you do decide to take part you will be given this information sheet to keep and be asked to sign a consent form. If you agree to take part, you will be asked whether you are happy to be contacted about participation in future studies. Your participation in this study will not be affected should you choose not to be recontacted.

 

If this study has harmed you in any way you can contact Royal Holloway, University of London using the details below for further advice and information:

Dr Harriet Hawkins  Harriet.Hawkins@rhul.ac.uk  Phone: +44 1784 414673

Professor Veronica Della Dora  Veronica.DellaDora@rhul.ac.uk  Phone: +44 1784 443642

 

 

Zhuyun (Amy) ZANG

Department of Geography, Royal Holloway, University of London. Egham, Surrey, UK. TW20 0EX.

Email: zhuyun.zang.2012@live.rhul.ac.uk

Project Blog: https://souvenirgeographies.wordpress.com/

Phone: + 44 (0)7428148628
University profile: https://pure.royalholloway.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/zhuyun-amy-zang(6f5cdab5-f5e7-4826-960c-318c9fe79cfe).html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AmyZhuyunZang

Twitter: @AmyNanzhan

 

 

Thanks a million!!

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Aside

A Reflection on RGS-IBG PGF Mid-Term Conference

First Day

2014 RGS-IBG PGF Mid-Term Conference is held in Loughborough University on 14-15 April. This is my first time in Loughborough which is a lovely little town.  Loughborough is similar to Egham. Both of them university town, which have big university area and small commercial town centre.

This two-day conference has around 80 presenters.

A family photo of all the presenters

A family photo of all the presenters

We started with  Hilary’s warm up session,  in which she encourage us to keep a PhD diary (identify your motivation of doing a PhD regularly) and attend more conference to communicate with people alike, and not alike.   She mentioned a project ‘stories from the store’ in science museum interested me.

Then is the presentations. There are massive sessions to choose from, and I am amazed again by the diversity of the topics in Geography.  Some of them are focus on developing countries and some developed; some on old people and some on mobility of drunk teenagers (LOL); some on transportation and some on writing.

Hannah, Miriam, Ella, Mel, Mike and Katie had their projects presented.

Hannah presenting

Hannah presenting

 

We noticed an interesting point that in one session, two PhD students from Loughborough uni talked about ‘Studentification’, and then Mike pointed out that the person who came up with the word ‘studentification’ is actually teaching here (Professor Darren Smith). The two presenters might be his students, and his idea is proven right by chatting to new friends in Loughborough. XD

Meeting new friends in the garden

Meeting new friends in the garden

We had our conference dinner in the Ramada Hotel, which perfectly ends the first day of the conference,

dinner

dinner

 

 

Second Day

The presentation I enjoyed most is Professor John Anderson’s  ‘China and Global Change’ (on the second day).  I feel excited to look at China from a different angel. Professor John Anderson pointed out lots of problem in China, while showing his affection for the country.

All the problems he pointed out are realistic, I admit it. The central government thought we can take the same way as the western took in the 20 century, but now it realizes that the damage to environment will be too huge to fix if we have the same way of developing (economy first, and then we will fix the environment). So it is taking action now. I was in Chine during Feb 2014, and in this month, several (7 or something like that) iron and steel plants and some cement hills in suburban Beijing had been torn down, to control the producing of steel in order to control the building of new houses, and to control the usage of coal in order to pollute the environment less.

Pro John Anderson on China and Global Change

Pro John Anderson on China and Global Change

 

Although some action have been taken, I still think the problem is serious and I like the ending of Professor John Anderson’s presentation: if the Chinese continuing taking the same way as the western did, and if the West of China has the same developed level as the East of China, ‘WE ARE F**KED!’  I like how he deals with the conclusion and makes it sound more serious. The more serious the problem sounds, the worse the situation we are in, the central government will pay more attention to the environment. It was a very great presentation! And I am touched about Professor John Anderson’s feeling of China. He must love it and hate it!

I realised my shortness of  reading and dealing with geography journals, so I joined the publishing workshop, which was very helpful.

I have heard some ideas of my souvenir geographies project and found 4 participants who are will to join the research.

To sum up, there are a lot to take in from the conference and we have enjoyed it.

rhul table

rhul table

We even started writing for the Landscape Surgery blog on the train back to London. XD

writing for landscape surgery on the train back to London

writing for landscape surgery on the train back to London

 

souvenirs from the conference

souvenirs from the conference

Aside

Postcard as a METHOD

So! After days of preparation, postcards for pilot field work are ready now.   I have prepared two kinds of postcards: one is normal pictorial postcards as we see in any souvenir shop, and the other is customized. There are 20 postcards for each kind (well, the customized one has 24 of its kind, because of the print shop owner’s kindness XD ).

 

Pictorial postcard

Pictorial postcard

 

This is a two sides pictorial postcard. The pictorial side is kept as it is; while I put a questionnaire and my post address.   There are several questions about the authenticity of souvenirs, and the questionnaire is tailored for tourists, who have limited time on the spot and I hope they can finish the questionnaire when they have time (e.g. in the bus or in their hotel rooms), and then they can send it back to me any time they feel like.

 

The second set of my postcards are customized.

 

Customised postcards: text only

Customised postcards: text only

 

In the second kind of postcard, there is no picture and I moved the post address to the front, making it possible to have space for another question on the back.  Comparing to the pictorial ones, the text only postcards are simpler and plainer. Maybe its simplicity and plaining will make the tourist want to keep them less, so I will have a better returning rate.

 

two different sets

two different sets

 

 

We will see how it works out in the field!  🙂

First day of field work shows a new method is needed

 

Field work diary day 1.  Saturday, March 22, 2014

Heathrow Airport, Terminal 1

Aim: come to find out a way to get into Baggage Claim Area, and interview passengers who are waiting for their baggage.

Reason: Travellers have limited time when travelling; they tend to have no time to take interview and fill out a questionnaire, but when they are waiting for their baggage, they might want to spare a little time to talk with me.

 

There are three floors in Heathrow Terminal 1 building. -1 Floor is for transportation like local buses, Underground and Heathrow Express; Ground Floor is for Arrivals; and First Floor is for Departures. I came to Ground Floor, walked towards the tunnel in which passengers are arriving from. There was a big red sign of ‘No Entry’ in front of the tunnel. I need to think of how to get to the Baggage Claim Area. There is an Information Desk in front of the tunnel, so I asked a staff near the desk. I clarified my identity and ask whether it is possible to have access to the Baggage Claim Area. He said I need to have the airport’s ID pass to get in there. I offered some conditions like can I get in there with some university letters or I can go there with a staff with me. The staff near the info desk said it might be possible but he was not sure. I was told go to upstairs which is the Departure Floor and advised to speak to Security.

 

Cant get into baggage claim area

Cant get into baggage claim area

information desk

information desk

At this stage, this mess makes me rethink why I need to have access to the Baggage claim area. I might cause the passengers miss their luggage which they are waiting for. This is an disadvantage aspect. Plus they are in a new, strange/unfamiliar country, the passengers might not want to speak to anyone. Nobody has done a field work in baggage claim area, it might have a reason. But there are advantages. The participants for my research I am looking for are international travellers. Travellers normally have very limited time. When they are waiting for their luggage, they might want to have a char. And it is a place where my best participants will gather: British going to Beijing and Chinese coming to London. I can now 1) give up or 2) go to talk to the security. I chose the later and went upstairs.

On the First Floor, I hang around the departure gates in front of security check, talked to the staff who was handing out transparent bags for on-board cosmetics. He turned out to be a person whose responsibility was just handing out bags…  The staff near him redirected me to a corner where real security was. It is a woman, and after I explained what I want, she introduced me to her supervisor, Dan. After talking with Dan, I have two answers.

The first is I can’t have access to the baggage claim area, not even if I offer university letters, or on the condition of having a staff with me. A person needs to hold a airport staff ID pass to go there and because of airport security control, no one else will be allowed in there. Secondly, I need to speak to the Media Department to have the permission of doing research in the airport. The info for Media Depart can be found on Heathrow’s website.

When i was hanging around in the airport, there were several things caught my attention. In the bookstore WH Smith (on First floor the departure hall), there is an area for souvenirs. Postcards are outstanding because their spacial arrangement is very clear. Postcards related to Royal family stay in a line, and natural scenery another. Saw a Royal mail stand near the souvenir area, which is very convenient for passengers to post the postcards they just bought.

 

postcards space arrangement

postcards space arrangement

Royal Mail stand

Royal Mail stand

On the ground floor for Arrival, there is a maps (ads) stand near the arriving tunnel. The maps and ads are in English and they are introducing tourist spots like theatre, London Eye, Kensington Palace, etc., and suddenly I found a Chinese Edition of this and in this map, shopping centres are marked out outstandingly. This map which specializing luxury shopping confirms my assumption that so many Chinese interest in luxury shopping and the reason might be the products are not just luxuries but also souvenirs from a Capital Western world.

 

Ads stand

Ads stand

Chinese edition specialising shopping centre

Chinese edition specialising shopping centre

I saw many money exchange stands (Bureau de change) on this floor, and it occurred to me that foreign currency can be souvenirs as well. Small amount of cash and coins are kept from the journey (the amount is too small that the Bureau de change will not take it, they are forced to become souvenirs). When money stops moving, it doesn’t have the value of money, it became a new thing – banal souvenir (will talk more about this in the future) [Link to Marx’s Capital, on Money].

My first day of field work shows that I need to find alternative method of doing this research. I will go to try Chinese Embassy (where people get Chinese visas from), and talk to Chinese travel agencies and London travel agencies.

When I was typing this, my first field work diary of polit field work, the idea of putting this into my blog hit me. So here we go. 🙂 Hope you enjoy reading and give me some advice if you have some.

 

 

 

Came across an intersting video, focusing on the family bussniness of making Staute of Liberty figurines in Queens factory, NYC. Here is the link.

These Lady Liberty Figurines Are the Only NYC Souvenirs Still Made in NYC

In this ‘era of mass-produced’, we are facing a paradox. On the one hand is the convenience the machine-made products offer us, on the other hand is the call for authenticity, the post-Fordism / hand-made ideology.

Staute of Liberty fingurines line up in Queens factory ©Rebecca

Staute of Liberty fingurines line up in Queens factory ©Rebecca

Link

A pencil case full of souvenirs: biography of my overseas student life

I came to UK on 23 Sep 2010, to my first destination: a little city called Wrexham in Walse.  It was the very first time that I crossed the boarder of China, and set a foot in a foreign country. I took the flight in Guangzhou, stopped in Singapore, and finally after 23 hours, I arrived in Manchester. The sky is blue outside, and there were cows separating across the bright green fields when university bus carried me on the high way to my new university: Glyndwr.

I spent 2 years there, and got a BA of Broadcasting, Journalism and Screen Study. I met a lot of awesome friends and had amazing experience with my tutors and co-workers. Finally, for my last project, I decided to shot a short video for Glyndwr University (available here: International Experience at Glyndwr ). We also created a video introducing Wales’ National Day: St. David Day (available here:  St. David’s Day). During the shooting of ‘St. David’s Day’, each of our team member had a yellow daffodil brooch pinned in front of our chest. I saved this yellow daffodil brooch as a souvenir of my two years study in Wales (Picture 1).

 

Picture 1: A Welsh  daffodil on the pencil case. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and is worn on St David's Day each 1 March.

Picture 1: A Welsh daffodil on the pencil case. The daffodil is the national flower of Wales, and is worn on St David’s Day each 1 March.

 

During my two years in Wales, I have visited many places in Wales: Cardiff, Capital of Wales, Llandudno and Llangollen, Colwyn Bay, Barmouth, Lyme Park (the shooting set of Price and Prejudiced), Bala Lake, Errdig Park and Holywell, etc.. All these Welsh memories can be represented by this lovely little yellow daffodil. Whenever and wherever I see this flower, the bell of Wales is rang.

I also visited other British cities other than those in Wales.   Edinburgh is an amazing city full of mysterious stories.  It was shocking for me that a tomb ground / grave yard which is hunted can also be a tourist attraction. I joined the night tour, following the route which many ghosts (of human and animals ) were seen by people and animals…  What a interesting and chilling tour! Each of the tourist has a torch light to make oneself feel a little safer in the trip to see ghosts.

 

Picture 2:  A torch light from a night walk in Edinburgh and the ball-pen from Youth Hostel in Edinburgh.

Picture 2: A torch light from a night walk in Edinburgh and the ball-pen from Youth Hostel in Edinburgh.

 

Apart from UK, I visited some cities in West Europe.  The most amazing experience in Glyndwr was that I had lots of international friends, to whom I can pay a visit. Barcelona, Berlin, Paris, they consisted lots of good memories.

Picture 3: Souvenir pen from La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí, in Barcelona

Picture 3: Souvenir pen from La Sagrada Familia by Antoni Gaudí, in Barcelona

 

During the study of media in Glyndwr, I became interested in geographical magazines, which directed me to the MA of Cultural Geography. So I took a master course in Cultural Geography in Royal Holloway, University of London. It was an amazing experience as well. I learnt a lot, and everyone, especially staffs in the Geography Department are extremely nice.

But being a post-graduate student, apart from studying hard and travelling around, I started to have part-time jobs to support myself. Name badge from the stores I have worked in are in my collection of souvenirs in my pencil case.

 

Picture 4: 2012-2013 Part-time job name badge

Picture 4: 2012-2013 Part-time job name badge

 

I put all these souvenirs in my pencil case which I got when staying in Berlin. Actually I got a special cup in Potsdamer Platz, but I lost it during one of the process of home moving. Only this pencil case which I carried with me everyday stayed alive these years.

 

Picture 5: the pencil case and the souvenirs inside

Picture 5: the pencil case and the souvenirs inside

 

I feel different after visiting each place and having new experience and thus I feel the desire to take away some token of the place, as a memento, to remember my visit and to evidence my experience. These souvenirs made my visiting and experience material. I seek ‘a sign of our experienced reality made material’ (Price, 2013:116), and these souvenirs ‘help(s) convert given reality in to experienced reality’ (Carpenter, quoted in Price, 2013:116). These souvenirs make me feel like I can touch the past, and their existing (can be seen visually and can be touched and used daily) in my pencil case present the fourth dimension of my overseas student life. Even though they are mass-produced and might be manufactured in China, they are still a materiel touch of the experience I had outside of China.

Kew Visit

Today,  some of Cultural Geography MA students, SCG PhD students and Geography Dept Staff from Royal Holloway went to have a visit to the sites behind Kew Garden.  This visit focused on the contemporary management and uses of the historical botanical collections.  We visited the economic botany (plant artefacts), the herbarium (dried specimens) and the library and archives.

on the way to Kew

on the way to Kew

Kew is in a nice area, with beautiful neibourhood.

Herbarium collection and the original collector's portrait

Herbarium collection and the original collector’s portrait

In the old area of Kew’s herbarium collection, the building was built in the 19 century, and it is arranged like this to absorb more light and avoid use fire for lighting, to protect the collection from fire.

how the newer collection is arranged

how the newer collection is arranged: coloured dots

In Kew’s newer part of the herbarium collection, they use matching colour to show the specimens’ original location, making it easier and faster to find them.

The very spicemen collected by Darwin himself

The very spicemen collected by Darwin himself

Wax flowers and Felix taking photo of them

Wax flowers and Felix taking photo of them

the Wardian case

the Wardian case

The upper picture is a postcard from Kew.  The Postcard shows Harry Ruck, Kew’s packer and later storekeeper from 1912  to 1959, packing a Wardian case in the early 1950s. Wardian cases were used between the 1840s and 1960s to transport plants around the world. The rest two are photos of the Wardiam case from the economic botany collection.

Three steps of producing cotton

Three steps of producing cotton

Beautiful paintings from Kew

Beautiful paintings from Kew

Photos by author.

On Chinese people buying London souvenirs which are actually made in China

Been thinking about saving money recently, and got a post box money box in a gift shop / souvenir shop after the Landscape Surgery today.

Image

It is a lovely money box, representing part of my life in London: saving money and will get the money ‘posted’ to somewhere when I need them.  This thought looks cool, right? 🙂

I wanted a money box, as well as a souvenir from London, so I bought it in the central London, in the gift shop at the corner where Tottenham Court Road meets Oxford Street.  But  I found this at the bottom of the money box:

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It is ‘made in China’.

It is unavoidable that many crafts are made in China and transported to London, and many of these crafts are sold in the souvenir shops.  So what do you think of Chinese people buying London souvenirs which are actually made in China? Is it as stupid as it sounds like?

First of all, it needs to be defined what is a ‘souvenir’, and why people want to buy it.

According to Oxford Dictionaries, a souvenir is ‘a thing that is kept as a reminder of a person, place, or event’ (http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/souvenir, accessed 28/11/2013).

(To be continued…)

Five kinds of unusual London Souvenirs

1. Tourist Bus Teapot / Telephone Box Teapot

A city’s tourist souvenirs are representations for the city. There are some interesting souvenirs for London. These souvenirs can be practically useful, by making them into our daily things, e.g. the Tourist Bus Teapot or the Telephone Box Teapot. They appear as things we can use in our everyday life, but how many tourists will use their ‘precious’ (mentally and literally – some souvenirs can be very expensive as well)  teapots to make tea is a thing I am not sure about.

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2. The Scent of Departure Eau de Toilette LHR

Souvenirs from airports/ big stations (mainly non-places) is a unique area to explore in Souvenir Geographies and Cultural Geographies.

Perfumes as souvenirs mix the sense and the scent of the place/or situation (although the ‘scent’ of a place is a imaged one – we don’t know the scent of an airport, do we?)

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3. Wills and Kate ashtray

Well, I will interpret this as a ‘cultural’ souvenir. We don’t have a Royal Family in my country, so it is new and something can be picked up as a unique element if I were travelling to London.

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4. Tube map ladies’ thong

Tourists are looking for unique elements to take away home, but sometimes these unique elements are combined with more unique basement/material/foundation/holder…….

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Some times these more unique basement/material/foundation/holder can be out of control………

5. Crown Jewels condoms…

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Picture Source: Google image.

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