ARSRPE Conference Paper Database

Poststructuralist theory and methodology: a complementary approach to road safety research

Vick, M. (Peer reviewed)



A poststructuralist qualitative approach to road safety research is outlined. The paper briefly explicates the theoretical approach and corresponding methods, indicates the type nature of data and evidence that might be produced in such research, argues the relevance of such research to road safety and provides brief illustrative examples of research data and its possible application. Poststructuralism theorises the self and the social world as socially constructed through discourse. It uses textual data as evidence of the ways individuals constitute social reality from available discursive cultural resources. This shapes understandings of validity and reliability. These understandings of the subjective mappings of self and the world, of the complex relations among discourses and of the relation of discourse to courses of action complement knowledge offered by other road safety research. Their contribution to road safety lies in their capacity to identify issues and strategic targets for policy and ?human factors? intervention, and to frame educative approaches, not indicated by other paradigms.