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A Day in the Life”: A Visual, Multimedia Approach to Research

By: & Published: 2018 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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The multimodal study of how people around the globe and across the life span thrive is of great interest to social scientists, educators, health practitioners, and social workers. To investigate thriving, our international, multidisciplinary team adopted a quasi-ecological model of healthy development nested within the contexts of prevailing social and physical environments. Assuming that individuals function from the most personal sphere to the largest spheres of geopolitics, we added a chronological learning dimension to the model to scaffold our human developmental life span interests. Furthermore, we employed a feminist framework of relational wellbeing that posits thriving in terms of five important strengths: zest for life or vitality, sense of worth, knowledge, sense of connection, and power or effectiveness. Our assumptions are that these basic models effectively support investigations of the commonalities of psychosocial processes that help people to do well in their local contexts. However, how acts of thriving are carried out diverges across cultures and contexts. To capture and explore the nature of the transactions of a participant as they go about their daily transactions, we continuously filmed in situ “A Day in the Life” from early morning until bedtime. We recorded interviews with participants throughout. In the present case description, we focus on the challenges and rewards for investigators engaged in this visual, multidisciplinary methodology that we have applied with colleagues in Canada, Italy, the United States, Thailand, the United Kingdom, Turkey, China, South Africa, Peru, Finland, Lithuania, and Brazil.

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