Emancipatory Photovoice Research: A Primer

Health Promot Pract. 2022 Mar;23(2):211-220. doi: 10.1177/15248399211062906.

Abstract

Photovoice can be more than a research method for communities to identify and mitigate social oppressions. Photovoice has the potential for emancipatory outcomes and the transformation of power relations. This article serves as a primer for beginning researchers who are new to the emancipatory power of the photovoice method or for advanced researchers who would like to re-imagine their current use of the photovoice method to an emancipatory approach that elevates and empowers. Our purpose is to provide a framework for deciding structures, processes, and outcomes of emancipatory photovoice. We specifically prescribe steps with respect to power relations among partners, design prompts or heuristics, and the anticipated and unanticipated outcomes. We base our perspectives on over a decade of photovoice research experiences. Emancipatory photovoice research, if implemented thoughtfully, can facilitate power sharing, collective learning, healing, and growth.

Keywords: critical consciousness; emancipatory research; ethical responsibilities; marginalization; photovoice; power; researcher risk; social justice.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Photography*
  • Research Design*
  • Research Personnel