Concluding thoughts

Table of Contents:

The discussion in this chapter has drawn together reflections from literature and experience to explore the benefits of participant-generated photo-elicitation to higher education research. In so doing, the chapter sought to add to contributions elsewhere in this volume by' reflecting on these benefits in terms of ‘diarying’. The chapter argued that participant generated photo-elicitation in the form undertaken was a method which allowed participants to diary' their experiences. Specifically, this diarying can be seen in the way the method allowed access to the everyday' -similar to the representations of everyday lives found in time-use diaries, and reflective narratives - similar to those accessed by the reflexive diaries. Photo-elicitation also develops such diarying with the inclusion of the visual, bringing varied mediums into research to more appropriately reflect the various textures of everyday life, and to encourage reflection and reminiscing.

Specific to the context of higher education, the example images included show the ability' of photo-elicitation to access the diverse everyday contexts of higher education experiences, and to elicit narratives which are deep, varied and personal. From the first image’s emergent narrative of self and friendship, through the discussion of family and the need for space in relation to the second image, into the third image’s reflection on the varied and extreme meanings of personal space, the discussions highlight the power of photo-elicitation to engage with and develop the reach of higher education research. These possibilities - present due to the co-existence of the roles of creator of the image (presenting everyday experience), and interpreter of the image (reflexively narrating and interpreting the image), allowed for unexpected flows to emerge.

Despite the clear benefits of diary' methods generally, and here participant generated photo-elicitation particularly, the methods remain underutilised in higher education research. It is hoped the contributions in this volume, and the reflections in this chapter, can encourage researchers to consider diary methods in order to allow the everyday' and the personal to continue to be present and to emerge more fully' in discussions of higher education.


Michael Keenan would like to thank the Society for Research into Higher Education for their generous Rinding of the research project ‘Exploring LGBTQ Diversity' in Higher Education: Extending Research into LGBTQ Student Experience’ (Annual Award 2016) which is the basis for the included chapter. Michael would also like to thank all the participants in this research for their engagement, time, effort and creativity'. Finally, Michael would like to thank the editors of this volume for their encouragement and helpRil comments.


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