When a Picture Is Worth a Thousand Words: Using Image-Based Research Methods in Vulnerable Populations As a Culturally Sensitive Approach
Keywords:Image-Based Research, Vulnerable Population, Mixed-Methods, Participatory Research
Image-based approaches –visual story-telling, photo-elicitation method, photo-walking, visual auto-ethnography– have been utilized as a novel exploratory tool in psychology and social science for examining visual identities, life histories, and other collective elements of local cultures. Visual and image-based methodologies held significant promise for building bottom-up participatory research designs for inquiries, particularly on vulnerable or disadvantaged individuals and groups. However, due to methodological difficulties, image-based research has maintained a restricted standing within the ‘traditional’ word-based oriented landscape of qualitative paradigms. The terrain addressed by the current paper includes various applications of image-based techniques as applied in vulnerable groups, as determined by some examples of recent literature. The key findings indicated an original galaxy of empirically based methodologies that may be utilized to incorporate more ‘traditional’ quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-method designs. Finally, implications from the practical application of this methodological design were discussed, notably in terms of decolonization of research techniques and ethical issues to guide practitioners’ research in challenging circumstances and vulnerable people.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Alessandro Pepe
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