Reflections on Meaning-making Processes and Participatory Research
Kaoruko Kondo and Ulrika Sjöberg
In relation to any claims about “child-centred” research, the present article stresses the need to reflect on what is actually at stake in terms of participation and the meaning-making processes that evolve in a certain research setting. Our experiences with photo-taking methods are based on two separate studies involving children (age 5-8 years) and young adolescents (age 12-16 year). Taking a constructivist approach, the article draws special attention to issues related to the age of the children, the type of camera used, the researcher’s status in the fieldwork and the type of data acquired through these children’s photos. The article stresses the need to perceive the story behind the photo as an outcome of how the child chose to position him/herself within a certain research context, which in turn affects how the child sees, thinks and acts, but also what he/she sees.