Issues of collaboration, representation, meaning and emotions:utilising participant-led visual diaries to capture the everyday lives of people in mid to later life


In recent years there has been an increasing use of visual methods in ageing research. There are, however, limited reflections and critical explorations of the implications of using visual methods in research with people in mid to later life. This paper examines key methodological complexities when researching the daily lives of people as they grow older and the possibilities and limitations of using participant-generated visual diaries. The paper will draw on our experiences of an empirical study, which included a sample of 62 women and men aged 50 years and over with different daily routines. Participant-led photography was drawn upon as a means to create visual diaries, followed by in-depth, photo-elicitation interviews. The paper will critically reflect on the use of visual methods for researching the daily lives of people in mid to later life, as well as suggesting some wider tensions within visual methods that warrant attention. First, we explore the extent to which photography facilitates a ‘collaborative’ research process; second, complexities around capturing the ‘everydayness’ of daily routines are explored; third, the representation and presentation of ‘self’ by participants within their images and interview narratives is examined; and, finally, we highlight particular emotional considerations in visualising daily life.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Sociology and Policy
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities
College of Business and Social Sciences > School of Social Sciences & Humanities > Centre for Critical Inquiry into Society and Culture (CCISC)
Additional Information: © 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Funding: ESRC (RES-061-25-0459)
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing,collaboration,emotions,everyday life,photo-elicitation,representation,visual diaries,Social Sciences(all)
Publication ISSN: 1464-5300
Last Modified: 05 Jan 2024 08:15
Date Deposited: 19 Aug 2015 14:10
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Related URLs: http://www.scop ... tnerID=8YFLogxK (Scopus URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2016-01-01
Published Online Date: 2015-10-01
Accepted Date: 2015-08-12
Authors: Pilcher, Katy (ORCID Profile 0000-0001-5973-8251)
Martin, Wendy
Williams, Veronika



Version: Published Version

License: Creative Commons Attribution

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