University of Hertfordshire

A Review of Participant-Generated Image Methods in the Social Sciences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • 907176

    Accepted author manuscript, 554 KB, PDF document

  • Nika Balomenou
  • Brian Garrod
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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)335-351
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Mixed Methods Research
Early online date13 Apr 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2016


This article makes a systematic review of the use of participant-generated image methods in social science research. Such methods have a long history of application across the social sciences. Their development has, however, been uneven and fragmented, resulting in a lack of gestalt (wholeness or unity). This has led to the methods being underappreciated and sometimes mistrusted. The article compares and contrasts the design, implementation, and analytical methods of nearly 300 studies. Six main groups or traditions are identified. However, the study finds no strong evidence that any is distinctive enough to warrant being awarded its own name. Meanwhile, no convincing evidence is found to suggest that best practice has either been identified or adopted.


The final, definitive version of this paper has been published in Journal of Mixed Methods Research, Vol. 10(4): 335-351, October 2016, DOI:, first published online 13 April 2015, published by SAGE Publishing. © The Author(s) 2015

ID: 9262309