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The challenges of participant photography: a critical reflection on methodology and ethics in two cultural contexts


Murray, L and Nash, M, The challenges of participant photography: a critical reflection on methodology and ethics in two cultural contexts, Qualitative Health Research, 27, (6) pp. 923-937. ISSN 1049-7323 (2017) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2016 The Author(s)

DOI: doi:10.1177/1049732316668819


Photovoice and photo-elicitation are two common methods of participant photography used in health research. Although participatory photography has many benefits, this critical reflection provides fellow researchers with insights into the methodological and ethical challenges faced when using such methods. In this article, we critically reflect on two studies that used participatory photography in different cultural contexts. The first study used photo-elicitation to investigate mothers’ experiences of infant settling in central Vietnam. The second study used photovoice to explore pregnant embodiment in Australia. Following a discussion of the literature and a detailed overview of the two studies, we examine the methodological challenges in using participant photography before, during and after each study. This is followed by a discussion of ethical concerns that arose in relation to the burden of participation, confidentiality, consent, and the photographing of families and children. To conclude, we highlight implications for using participatory photography in other settings.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:Australia, participant photography, photo-elicitation, photovoice, methodology, motherhood, qualitative
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health)
Objective Field:Women's and maternal health
UTAS Author:Murray, L (Dr Linda Murray)
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
ID Code:111606
Year Published:2017 (online first 2016)
Web of Science® Times Cited:48
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-09-26
Last Modified:2018-02-09

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