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A composite picture. Using photography in research with young participants: a critical review Giovanna Fassetta University of Glasgow, 19 th June 2014.

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Presentation on theme: "A composite picture. Using photography in research with young participants: a critical review Giovanna Fassetta University of Glasgow, 19 th June 2014."— Presentation transcript:

1 A composite picture. Using photography in research with young participants: a critical review Giovanna Fassetta University of Glasgow, 19 th June

2 Overview The project The technique Why photography? The issues faced Children’s view on the technique Summary 2

3 Research questions: How do children imagine countries they do not know directly but to which they have links through significant others? How do young people assess their imaginings and expectations in the light of the encounter with reality? Techniques: Focus groups Photography Individual (unstructured) interviews Participants: 41 children between 10 and 15 years of age (30 female, 11 male): 13 children left behind; 15 migrant children; 13 children born in Italy of Ghanaian parents 6 schools 3 The project

4 Child-led (participant-led) photography (Participant-driven photo-elicitation; auto-driven photography, etc.) Technology: disposable cameras Choice whether to take cameras Time: one week Procedure: – two sets of prints – Participants to withdraw prints prior to conversation – Discuss photograph with the participants (not to misinterpret them) – Annotate photographs on the back Analysis: coding by subject Brief: Children asked to take photographs of similarities and differences (expected or experienced) between the two countries. 4 The technique

5 Why photography? Empowers children by giving them a more active role in the research process and can help to redress the imbalance of power Allows children to choose their responses away from immediate adult pressure Can be a support in case of language difficulties It is more ‘fun’ Can become an aid for individual interviews, by shifting the focus of attention Allows for triangulation 5

6 Other people’s eyes The researcher’s ‘absent presence’ ‘Staged’ pictures The voices of other people (but also the hands…) 6

7 Holding a camera 7 Safe places? Same places? Personal spaces?

8 GF: listen… was it a problem taking the photographs? Did you mind it? B: no. It was a pleasure. If you want I’ll do some more [laughs] [Benedetta, female age 12 – Italy, born in Ghana] GF: and was it a problem taking the photographs? R: no, it was not a problem [Roberto, male age 15 – Italy, born in Ghana] GF: was taking the photographs a chore? M: yes, a bit… because you had to have a picture… and you needed to think about it a lot, too. [Marty, male age 12 – born in Italy] G: was it a burden? A: yes, to tell you the truth it was a burden… […] because I didn’t know what… which things to… which things to photograph G: and so… and so it was a worry for you? A: yes [Amauri, male age 11 – Italy, born in Ghana] 8 The children’s views

9 Summary 9 Limitations Attracting attention Mobility Understanding of research process (ethical issues) Is it ‘fun’? Open issues of analysis and interpretation Positive aspects Children’s agency and researcher’s control Photography and interviews Triangulation Diverse techniques for diverse participants Possible improvements? Maximise the interactive, collective nature Digital cameras and manipulation

10 Thank you 10


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