Visualising community: using participant-driven photo-elicitation for research and application
MetadataShow full item record
Original versionLocal Environment : the International Journal of Justice and Sustainability 2010, 15(4):373-388 10.1080/13549831003677670
Despite a contemporary socio-culture revolving around cultural consumption of imagery, metaphors, representations and “gaze”, photo-elicitation is a rarely used method for social scientists and planners to acquire knowledge. In this paper, we discuss participant-driven photo-elicitation, a process in which participant photos are paired with in-depth interviews. Based upon a review of the literature on photo-elicitation and our own transnational fieldwork experiences with it, we argue that this method has four primary advantages: photos can provide tangible stimuli for more effectively tapping into informants' tacit, and often unconscious, consumption of representations, images and metaphors; produces different and richer information than other techniques; and may also help to reduce differences in power, class and knowledge between researcher and researched. Finally, we argue that this method has unique potential to empower participants' involvement in activities related to local planning for sustainable community development and natural resource management efforts.