Accessing Children's Perspectives Through Participatory Photo Interviews


  • Jane Jorgenson University of South Florida
  • Tracy Sullivan



children, technology, home, photo-elicitation, auto-driven photography, reflexivity


In this article we seek to contribute to the emerging conversation on child-centered research methods by reflecting on the use of participatory photo interviewing to understand children's experiences with household technology. Participatory photo interviews attempt to engage children as active research participants by giving them cameras and inviting them to take pictures dealing with various aspects of their lives. The photos are later used in the interview process to jointly explore the subjective meaning of the images. We focus here on how children oriented to the research task, and in particular, on the ethnographic insights obtained by attending to the different kinds of commentaries evoked as children were asked to explain their photographs. Our experience with this image-based approach suggests that children's reactions to the research context complicate the task of interpretation but are essential to acknowledge if researchers are to make full use of the potential of photo interviews. URN: urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs100189


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Author Biographies

Jane Jorgenson, University of South Florida

Jane JORGENSON is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of South Florida. Her research interests include family and organizational communication, in particular the impacts of work flexibility on family life.

Tracy Sullivan

Tracy SULLIVAN received her M.A. in Communication at the University of South Florida in 2007. Her research interests include health communication, family communication and interpersonal interaction.




How to Cite

Jorgenson, J., & Sullivan, T. (2009). Accessing Children’s Perspectives Through Participatory Photo Interviews. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 11(1).