Session: A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Pie Charts: The Use of Arts-Based Methods to Enhance Qualitative Rigor, Participant Engagement, and Community Dissemination (Society for Social Work and Research 25th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Social Change)

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241 A Picture Is Worth a Thousand Pie Charts: The Use of Arts-Based Methods to Enhance Qualitative Rigor, Participant Engagement, and Community Dissemination

Friday, January 22, 2021: 3:45 PM-4:45 PM
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Erin Harrop, MSW, University of Washington, Darren Cosgrove, PhD, Miami University of Ohio, Ramona Beltran, PhD, University of Denver and Jose Paez, MSW, California State University, Northridge
Arts-based methods (ABM) in research involve rigorous approaches to knowledge building that foster collaborative partnerships with participants, and encourage individual and community empowerment. Indeed, women of color have acknowledged the power of ABM for decades (Anzaldua, 1987; Beltran, 2019; Collins, 1989; Madison, 1993; Moraga, 2011; Wang & Burris, 1997). Despite the advantages of ABM and their alignment with social work values, concerns regarding their appropriateness within the social sciences persist. Noting such tensions, Leavy (2015) argues that "art and science bear intrinsic similarities in their attempts to illuminate aspects of the human condition" (p. 3) and asserts that these fields should be viewed as complementary, and even synergistic, as opposed to diametrically opposed. For social science researchers committed to utilizing creative approaches, ABM offer the opportunity to center the lived experiences and meaning-making of members of marginalized communities.

ABM may be particularly beneficial when conducting research with communities who have experienced marginalization, oppression, and trauma. In community-based work, artwork may serve as both data and as research products that illuminate findings and enhance dissemination. In each capacity, participant-generated artwork often highlights community strengths only observed by insiders with emic knowledge. By centering such perspectives, ABM shift away from a deficit-orientation and align with social work's strength-based perspective. The use of ABM also encourages data collection, analysis, and dissemination to hold increased cultural relevance.

This roundtable will address strategies for integrating ABM into studies of populations with marginalized identities and who have experienced trauma. The session will focus on how ABM can increase qualitative rigor, amplify participant voices, and enhance community dissemination. Panelists will reflect on their experiences utilizing ABM, share strategies for participant engagement, and discuss methodological challenges and opportunities.

To begin, author one will discuss their use of ABM to facilitate interviews regarding medical experiences of patients with eating disorders. Topics within this brief presentation will involve the use of visuals (collage, drawing, computer graphics) for story-telling traumatic events, and the dialectic between the researcher and participant in analysis of visual data. Author two will share about the use of PhotoVoice to collaborate with non-binary young adults in identifying research questions, examining identity-based stigma and support, and using artwork to promote community awareness. Author three will present on the ethics and values of narrative and Indigenous story work in culture-centered research with Native and Indigenous communities and will facilitate an interactive applied storytelling method activity. Finally, author four will share about the use of decolonizing and portraiture methodologies, to understand MSW educators' experiences challenging coloniality and re-imagining social work education.

This roundtable will invite dialogue regarding how qualitative ABM can be utilized with diverse populations that have experienced trauma to 1) enhance methodological rigor through data triangulation, 2) create compelling visuals for community dissemination of findings, 3) facilitate therapeutic data collection strategies, and 4) elevate participant voices through created representations of lived experience. The session will encourage attendees to consider how ABM could be integrated across methodological traditions to increase depth of data, rigor, participant engagement, and community dissemination.on 4-21-2020-->

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