Blurring the boundaries between photovoice and narrative methods: gender-based research through narrative-photovoice

  • Shan Simmonds Edu-HRight Research Unit, North-West University
  • Cornelia Roux Edu-HRight Research Unit, North-West University
  • Ina ter Avest Vrije University and Inholland University The Netherlands

Abstract

Photovoice provides alternative ways of doing research with schoolgirls, who are vulnerable and often under-acknowledged research participants. It is particularly valuable in dealing with sensitive topics such as gender-based violence, poverty and HIV/AIDS and other chronic illnesses. Photovoice is thus widely employed in disciplines such as health, education, economics, sociology, anthropology, and geography. Up until now, however, it has been predominantly underpinned by participatory action research and other community-based participatory related methodologies. This article explores the possibility of blurring the boundaries between photovoice and narrative inquiry to create a narrative-photovoice methodology for gender-based research. In this study, South African schoolgirls participate as coresearchers employing narrative-photovoice and reflect on the value and limitations of this methodology for making meaning of gender (in)equity in their everyday lives. The main findings are categorized into the following themes: (a) superstition and suspicion: a gatekeeper to gaining access, (b) embracing creativity, (c) moving beyond the abstract, (d) digital versus disposable camera, (e) and having fun while learning. In the conclusion, the authors reflect on the participants’ experiences of doing narrative-photovoice and highlight particular considerations for using this methodology.

Author Biographies

Shan Simmonds, Edu-HRight Research Unit, North-West University
Senior lecturer Subject chairperson for the subject group 'Curriculum Studies, Philosophy and Research Methodology'
Cornelia Roux, Edu-HRight Research Unit, North-West University
Research Director
Ina ter Avest, Vrije University and Inholland University The Netherlands
Professor in ‘Education and Philosophy of Life’
Published
2015-07-13
Section
Articles