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Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences

Brown, Nicole (2019) Identity boxes: using materials and metaphors to elicit experiences. International Journal of Social Research Methodology, . ISSN 1364-5579. (doi:10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894) (KAR id:73580)


This paper considers the use of identity boxes as a data collection method to elicit experiences. Participants were asked to respond to questions using objects to represent their answers. The rationale for using identity boxes was to allow for a more embodied, less textual approach. The identity boxes were then also used to create an artistic installation as one form of data analysis. The reflection section in this paper shows that the approach posed potential risks around the emotional vulnerability of participants, with participants experiencing the project as cathartic and therapeutic. Some participants struggled with the process of thinking through objects as difficult. Although using a less conventional approach to research led to deeper, richer reflections and thus relevant, interesting data, concerns were raised around relevance, generalisability, and more generally the evaluation of the research. The paper concludes with a reconsideration of the identity boxes as a method.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1080/13645579.2019.1590894
Uncontrolled keywords: Metaphorical representation, experiences, identity boxes, elicitation, creative methods, creative research, arts-based research, arts-based analysis
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: N. Brown
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2019 08:59 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2020 23:00 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Brown, Nicole:
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