By articulating the methods of this pilot study, this article makes the case that photovoice and photo elicitation are useful methods for exploring the lived experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) older adults in San Francisco. Participants were asked to identify and represent their environments by recording them with disposable cameras. The photographs served as catalysts for conversation and were robust platforms for articulation of their taken-for-granted, varied, and/or hidden cultural practices, social processes, and social and spatial relations. These approaches affirmed the ingenuity and perspectives of the participants by allowing them to depict the community’s needs and assets, and re-distributed ownership of the research with participants in the construction of discourses on aging. Through rigorous narrative and visual analysis of participants’ interviews and photographs, a description emerged of urban space as both a site of queer culture and as one of the many possible milieus for growing older. Themes discussed include the way in which space and place are productive of particular outcomes for LGBQ older adults living in San Francisco, as well as shaped by them in the way aged-identities and queer-identities are embodied, emerge, are enacted, and emplaced. The strengths and limitations of using photovoice, photo elicitation, and visual research methods are also discussed.
|Keywords:||Visual Research Methods, Photovoice, Photo Elicitation, Geo-tagging, Mapping, Qualitative Methods, LGBTQ, Urban Space|
Graduate Student, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences , Institute for Health and Aging, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA