Picturing Masculinities: Using Photoelicitation in Men's Health Research

Am J Mens Health. 2017 Sep;11(5):1472-1485. doi: 10.1177/1557988315611217. Epub 2015 Oct 18.


This article explores the use of photo-elicitation methods in two men's health studies. Discussed are the ways that photo-elicitation can facilitate conversation about health issues that might be otherwise challenging to access. In the first study, researchers explored 35 young men's experiences of grief following the accidental death of a male peer. In the second study, researchers describe 64 fathers' perceptions about their roles and identity with respect to child safety and risk. Photographs and accompanying narratives were analyzed and results were theorized using a masculinities framework. Discussed are the benefits of photo-elicitation, which include facilitating conversation about emotions, garnering insight into the structures and identities of masculinity in the context of men's health. Considered also are some methodological challenges amid recommendations for ensuring reflexive practices. Based on the findings it is concluded that photo-elicitation can innovatively advance qualitative research in men's health.

Keywords: bereavement/grief; fathering; fathers; masculinity; photo-elicitation; qualitative; research.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Death
  • Grief
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic
  • Male
  • Masculinity*
  • Men's Health
  • Photography*
  • Qualitative Research
  • Young Adult