Eric Laurier

PROF, Reader in Geography & Interaction

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

As listed in research interests.

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Personal profile

Research Interests

Currently, Eric Laurier is working on assistive technologies, trouble in public places, small talk practices in service work, wayfinding and family relationships in walking and cross-cultural driving practices. His long term approach to research emerges from ethnomethodology and conversation analysis. He is concerned, in fundamental ways, with the what of social things and how events happen, where those things might be as familar as crossing at traffic lights, or, as technical as professional film editing practice. To try and recover the overlooked details of how people organise the things that they do, he uses video recordings. 

By topic:
public space, mobility, transport, technology, workplaces, social relationships, everyday life in the city, visual impairment, conviviality, marketplaces, walking in the countryside, neighbourhoods, wayfinding, mobile devices, driving, practical reasoning, gestures, film & video production, infrastructures, leisure, family meal times, cafes.

By approach:
video, ethnography, conversation analysis, ethnomethodolgy, ANT.

By thinker:
Harold Garfinkel, Harvey Sacks, Stanley Cavell, Stanley Raffel, Erving Goffman, Bruno Latour.

Research Groups

The Scottish Ethnomethodology, Discourse, Interaction and Talk group (SEDIT) ->

Mobility Studies of Interaction (Mobsin), European Network (Aalborg, Basel, Cardiff, Helsinki, Linkoping, Loughborough, Stockholm, Oulu, Gothenberg, Mannheim, Leuven, Nice, Paris, Kolding)

The Cultural and Historical Geography Research Group, School of GeoSciences, University of Edinburgh

The Media and Communication Research Network, University of Edinburgh

Food Researchers in Edinburgh ->


Office Hours

My office hours are 2-4pm on Mondays.

My room can be a bit tricky to find. If you find the Ogilvie Room in the Institute of Geography, then I'm up the stairs opposite that.


In this video Eric talks about how ethnomethodology describes how we jointly accomplish tasks in particular places. It is concerned with members’ method. It is not a methodology.


I specialise in course where students learn the craft of collecting, analysing and writing-up their own empirical materials.

Key Methods in Geography (3rd Year Honours Course)

Advanced Ethnography: Documenting the City (4th year Honours Course)

Researching with Media (4th year Honours Course)

The Art of Listening (4th year Honours Course)

Methdological Debates in Human Geography (Postgraduate Course)

I also contribute to MSc courses in Design Informatics, ESRC methods training for postgraduate students and run occasional short courses at other European Universities on analysing video.

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), City of Glas/z, University of Wales

Award Date: 1 Jan 1996


  • GT Manners and customs
  • public space
  • mobility
  • transport
  • technology
  • workplaces
  • HM Sociology
  • ethnomethodology
  • conversation analysis
  • ethnography


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