Photo elicitation: Commonalities and uniqueness in cross cultural descriptions of a multicultural mental health service
This article supports the use of photo elicitation and analysis in multicultural service evaluation research. During a recent qualitative evaluation of a multicultural mental health respite service in Queensland Australia, a research facilitator used a collection of 130 black and white photos to initiate four focus group discussions each consisting of 5-8 participants. The facilitator asked participants to select a photo from the series that best described their service experience and to share the photo and their explanation with the larger group. Our analysis of the images selected by the four focus groups - each representing different cultural backgrounds (Afghan, Sudanese, Tongan and multicultural) - revealed that several images were selected across the different groups. We also found that other images selected closely resembled one another in thematic and relational content. This was not an expected outcome; as each of the focus groups represented a different type of service intervention, delivered by a different organisation with representation from different diverse populations. These outcomes raise a number of methodological issues that warrant further discussion and investigation. We use the current study as a worked example of how photo elicitation can generate connections not only between participants and facilitators but also how it transcends different cultures, languages, and experiences as a way to describe similar service contexts.
Multicultural, Intercultural and Cross-cultural Studies