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.