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Photovoice: Doing Assessed Research as an Undergraduate from a Critical Standpoint

By: & Published: 2014 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 1
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In this case study, we will describe a psychology honours project which started with, but also problematised, the notion of ‘lived experience’ of being labelled ‘mentally ill’ and ‘treated’ within an Australian psychiatric hospital. The research method we used was Photovoice, a method which involves group members taking photos and using them as ‘prompts’ for telling their stories of ‘lived experience’. This research project was theorised and conducted within a critical frame of reference, and therefore, we explicate what we mean by ‘frame of reference’ and ‘critical’ as well as describe how these contribute to the constitution of how we think, do research and perform ourselves. We will discuss how we deployed Photovoice and outline some issues we encountered in the everyday practice of doing a participatory and critical Photovoice research project. In doing so, we hope to demonstrate the potential of critical research as a tool of activist scholarship within assessed undergraduate studies in psychology.

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