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Morgan Centre for Research into Everyday Lives

Close up of moss on logs

Living the weather

May 2015 – April 2016

Project leader: Jennifer Mason (Jennifer's staff page)

Project summary

The project is exploring how people ‘live’ the weather and seasons in their daily lives and relationships. Weather is said to be a British obsession, and it is well known to be a popular topic of passing conversation. But this project is looking more deeply, at how weather and season become ingrained in us, or get ‘under our skin’. It is exploring how weather and the elements shape our character, our memories, and our outlook, as well as our neighbourhoods and landscapes. It is investigating the role of weather and season in our relationships with others and with the places where we live, work and spend time. It is exploring how weather feels and how we experience it with all of our senses, as we go about our daily lives. The project is based in and around the Pennine Town of Hebden Bridge in the Upper Calder Valley of West Yorkshire.

The parts of the study are:

  • An ethnographic study of weather in daily life in and around Hebden Bridge
  • Interviews with people about weather in their daily lives and over their lifetimes
  • Reports from locally recruited ‘Weather Correspondents’ about how this season’s weather is affecting their lives
  • A documentary film made in the local area.

Outputs 

  • A book, Living the weather: Voices from the Calder Valley based on participants' interviews and weather reports, edited by Jennifer Mason. (Online version available here soon. For a copy of the printed version please email hazel.burke@manchester.ac.uk)
  • Documentary film produced by Lorenzo Ferrarini
  • 'Living the weather' blog by Jennifer Mason
  • Gallery from our picture competition

Contact us

Acknowledgements

The project is funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Fellowship: 'Living the Weather: a study in the socio-atmospherics of everyday life', Professor Jennifer Mason.