Coming to Grips with Life-as-Experienced: Piecing Together Research to Study Stakeholders' Lived Relational Experiences in Collaborative Planning Processes

Lieselot Vandenbussche, Jurian Edelenbos, Jasper Eshuis


Lived experience remains a key concept in qualitative social science research. The study of life-as-experienced is, however, a project that is methodologically problematic due to the fact that researchers can only come to grips with people's lived experiences through their (re)constructed representations of it. Yet, during this process of (re)constructing, some of the complexity of life-as-experienced is inevitably lost. The methodological challenge is to find an approach that embraces, rather than reduces the complexity of life-as experienced. In qualitative research literature, methodological bricolage has been proposed as such an approach. In this article, we present a concrete example of a bricolaged research approach, provide insights into its potential value and reflect on the challenges we encountered. We discuss how our approach enabled a multi-layered exploration of lived experiences. By creatively blending methods, we were able to tap into different kinds of understanding. Our bricolaged research approach generated: 1. knowledge "from within" and "in-between" research subjects, 2. a kaleidoscopic view of lived experiences, and 3. a processual understanding that embraces the temporal dimension of life-as-experienced. Researchers can benefit from our discussion on this bricolaged approach as there are as of yet few concrete examples of how bricolage can be implemented in practice.


lived experiences; methodological bricolage; narrative interviewing; graphic elicitation methods; ethnographic fieldwork

Full Text:



Copyright (c) 2019 Lieselot Vandenbussche, Jurian Edelenbos, Jasper Eshuis

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.