Session: Utilization of Photovoice Methodology: Ethics, Power, and Social Justice Issues (Society for Social Work and Research 23rd Annual Conference - Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence)

301 Utilization of Photovoice Methodology: Ethics, Power, and Social Justice Issues

Sunday, January 20, 2019: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Golden Gate 4, Lobby Level (Hilton San Francisco)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement (RD&M)
Marianna Colvin, PhD, Florida Atlantic University, Heather burr-Shulman, LMFT, Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel and Heather Howard, PhD, Florida Atlantic University
As the social work profession works to the meet the challenge of Ending Gender Based, Family and Community Violence, a critical component is involving and magnifying the voice of victims of violence themselves - both in scholarship and in community-settings. Photovoice methodology is specifically suited to this goal and has been increasingly applied by social work researchers to engage, understand, and empower vulnerable populations. Its primary objectives are for research participants to (1) identify, record, and reflect on their lived experiences and community needs, (2) promote critical dialogue, and (3) engage with community stakeholders and policy makers (Wang and Burris, 1997). Likewise, photovoice is a distinctive methodological instrument for aiding participants of research to become catalysts for social change. Participants are given tools, a process, and a platform for communicating their experiences and are empowered as active co-investigators in identifying, analyzing, and telling their collective stories. The relevance of this methodology is particularly profound for populations who have experienced or are experiencing trauma, including systemic trauma, and the considerations of ethics, power dynamics, and social justice pursuits are paramount in the conceptualization and implementation of photovoice studies. These three elements will likewise be a primary focus throughout the content of this workshop. The objectives of this workshop are: 1) to orient attendees to photovoice as a qualitative research methodology, 2) to establish the benefits, as well as potential limitations and challenges, of implementing a photovoice study, and 3) to facilitate dialogue regarding how to include research participants as co-researchers in the development of research questions, data analysis, and dissemination. This discussion will specifically emphasize approaches for dismantling power imbalances between the researcher and participants, as well as dismantling power imbalances between participants and the policy-maker and professional audiences participants seek to engage. The workshop will be structured to include four components to achieve these objectives. First, participants will be oriented to photovoice broadly, including an overview of underlying principles and methodological steps. Second, facilitators will offer a reflection on some of the concrete knowledge needed for implementing a photovoice qualitative study, including ethical considerations, informed consent issues, and data analytic procedures. Third, participants will be guided through an applied example of using photovoice and invited to dissect applications that maximize the utility of this methodology for giving vulnerable populations a voice, including the role images play in engaging consumers of research. A community stakeholder (i.e., research consumer) from the example study will join the panel and contribute to this discussion from their perspective. Lastly, workshop participants will be invited to identify and discuss with the group possible opportunities to apply photovoice qualitative methods in their own research programs; this segment of the workshop will include strategies used by the facilitators for taking the social action component of the research process further and workshop participants will be invited to reflect on the challenges the researchers experienced and ways photovoice can be incorporated in their own research inquiries in bridging community-engaged research which addresses gender-based, family and community violence.
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