Session: Exploring the Use of Art-Based Collaborative Auto-Ethnography (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.

315 Exploring the Use of Art-Based Collaborative Auto-Ethnography

Sunday, January 15, 2023: 9:45 AM-11:15 AM
Valley of the Sun D, 2nd Level (Sheraton Phoenix Downtown)
Cluster: Research Design and Measurement
Darren Cosgrove, PhD, Miami University of Ohio
Bridget Colacchio, MA, Loyola University, Chicago, Dana Levin, PhD, LMSW, University of Windsor and Darren Cosgrove, PhD, Miami University of Ohio
As our social work field continues to explore ways to promote and achieve social change, expanding our scientific inquiry to more effectively engage communities and marginalized individuals in research is required. This roundtable will explore a pilot study and emergent methodology that the authors are developing through blending arts-based research (ABR) and collaborative auto-ethnography (CAE). The authors have engaged this new methodological approach to explore the liberatory and accessible nature of ABR as praxis, and to identify strengths and limitations to blending the two qualitative traditions.

Objectives of the roundtable include: 1) Share and receive feedback on a piloted methodology, with attention to opportunities to engage marginalized individuals, 2) Examine the opportunities and challenges of using collaborative and arts-based research within academic institutions, 3) Identify strategies to engage proposed methodological processes in work with communities outside of the academy.

CAE and ABR are two methodological approaches used in conducting critical qualitative research. They are often utilized to assist the generation of knowledge grounded in a reflective inquiry into nuanced lived experiences. ABR includes methods that engage creative and expressive works of art at various points in the research process. ABR has an established history in the field of public health with intent to invite communities into the research process; methods like photovoice are increasing in popularity among social work scholars. CAE is a qualitative methodology that builds on the tradition of auto-ethnography by having participant-researchers work collaboratively to examine and systematically analyze both shared and divergent lived experiences related to a particular phenomenon or topic of interest. These methods center critical reflection, insider and community knowledge, and align well with the core values of social work. Nonetheless, pressures within the academy work to marginalize the use of creative and collaborative methodologies. As schools of social work seek ways to advance their community-engagement in ways that are fruitful for both their institutions and those historically marginalized and excluded from academic institutions, new and emergent research praxis may present such opportunities.

The purpose of this roundtable is to report on, discuss, and model a blended ABR-CAE methodology. The presenters will discuss both ABR and CAE and their strategic merging of the two methodologies. They will briefly report on a pilot study they have completed in which the methodology was used to examine the liberatory potential of engaging art in social work research. Each of the three presenters are social work scholars at different points in their careers. They will offer their reflections on the benefits and challenges of engaging in ABR relative to the career-stage expectations and demands they are presently navigating. Finally, the presenters will engage the session attendees in a series of activities to model the piloted methodology, followed by a collective exploration of the potential uses and limitations of the methodology.

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