Although photovoice is often hailed as a method that includes and gives voice to those whose perspectives are left out of research, this chapter details limits of photovoice within the context of rapid ethnography and institutional research. Although photovoice proved its worth in offering a fun, interactive way to engage residents in research, and in generating rich data on their perspectives of care home life, we experienced challenges incorporating this method into the project. We were unable to obtain ethical approval for its use with our original target group of those living with dementia, a limitation that changed our use of the method considerably. We also faced time constraints: our ethnographies were not long enough to recruit, teach camera usage, take and develop pictures, and conduct a follow-up interview. Ethical restrictions were placed on publishing photographs, limiting the ability to connect visual representations to narratives, which impacted presentation of findings.

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School of Social Work

Lowndes, R. (Ruth), & Braedley, S. (2018). Snap-happy? The promise and problems of photovoice. In Creative Teamwork: Developing Rapid, Site-Switching Ethnography (pp. 129–142). doi:10.1093/oso/9780190862268.003.0009