Session: Using Qualitative Geographic Methods to Understand Embodied Experiences of Place (Society for Social Work and Research 27th Annual Conference - Social Work Science and Complex Problems: Battling Inequities + Building Solutions)

All in-person and virtual presentations are in Mountain Standard Time Zone (MST).

SSWR 2023 Poster Gallery: as a registered in-person and virtual attendee, you have access to the virtual Poster Gallery which includes only the posters that elected to present virtually. The rest of the posters are presented in-person in the Poster/Exhibit Hall located in Phoenix A/B, 3rd floor. The access to the Poster Gallery will be available via the virtual conference platform the week of January 9. You will receive an email with instructions how to access the virtual conference platform.

227 Using Qualitative Geographic Methods to Understand Embodied Experiences of Place

Saturday, January 14, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Maryvale A, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Communities and Neighborhoods
Samantha Teixeira, PhD, Boston College
Greer Hamilton, MSW, Boston University, Danielle Littman, A.M., LCSW, University of Denver and Josh Lown, MSW, Boston College
The person-in-environment paradigm is one of the social work profession's central perspectives and contributions to understanding the social world. However, there are limited research methods which explicitly study the relationship between people and their environments (e.g., neighborhood, schools). SSWR's 2023 theme encourages us to build solutions to inequities using innovative, collective impact-driven approaches. In this roundtable, we will host a discussion on the role of qualitative geographic approaches as embodied methods for understanding person-place relationships, drawing on examples from three study contexts focused on marginalized individuals and neighborhoods. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) methods use spatial data to visualize and analyze place-based social issues. Qualitative GIS (QGIS), specifically, uses qualitative data to understand place-experiences, such as walking tour-based interviews, photography and other visual arts integration, and sketch mapping (where participants overlay their experiences of place onto maps). QGIS is an emerging yet underutilized social work research method and holds promise for understanding complex person-place relationships, often through participatory and community-engaged approaches. This roundtable discussion will provide examples of our use ofQGIS methods, and session participants will learn about several applications of QGIS methods and their promise for centering racial equity and social justice values in social work research.The roundtable features a panel of social work researchers who will host a conversation on the promises of, and lessons learned from, using QGIS and arts-based methods to understand embodied experiences of place. A discussant with expertise in QGIS research in social work will introduce and moderate the roundtable, followed by panelists who will present three case examples from their dissertation research. These examples include: 1) the use of QGIS to map oral histories, interviews, and audio/visual materials collected regarding how experiences of neighborhood change in Buffalo, NY affect residents' sense of belonging; 2) using geospatial methods to visualize the discourse of gentrification-related neighborhood cues, such as social control, well-being, and displacement, as they are expressed by residents of East Boston through their participation in participatory qualitative methods, such as photovoice and walking interviews; and 3) the development of a geographic interview method, which includes walk-along interviews combined with sketch mapping on individual and composite blueprints, as well as the implementation of the geographic interview method with young adults in permanent supportive housing contexts to understand residents' emotional experiences of physical space. These examples will help to guide an interactive discussion with audience members around the importance of examining place in social work research, and more specifically how QGIS is a useful tool for interrogating person-place relationships. Further, this roundtable will provide opportunities for social work scholars and practitioners to consider how place-based qualitative research can be used to build a more equitable world.

See more of: Roundtables