The use of visual methodologies in social work research over the last decade: A narrative review and some questions for the future

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


External organisations

  • University of Salford


This paper outlines the use of visual methodologies in international social work research over the past 10 years. It presents a narrative overview of the types and range of visual methodologies that have been used, explores the benefits of employing visual methodologies in social work research and outlines some considerations for researchers thinking of working with the visual. The review is not intended to be an exhaustive overview of the field but rather highlights important issues and concerns when using visual methodologies. A deeper, reflexive engagement with the complexities (practical as well as methodological and epistemic) of undertaking visual research is required and engaging in the issues we raise will enable social work research to make valuable contributions to the wider field of visual researching.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-43
Number of pages15
JournalQualitative Social Work
Issue number1
Early online date20 Aug 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


  • photo-elicitation, photovoice, Social work, visual methodologies, visual representation, visual research