Using Visual Methods to Describe Migrant Family Change

Sunday, 10 July 2016: 13:30
Location: Hörsaal 41 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Irena JUOZELIUNIENE, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Indre BIELEVICIUTE, Vilnius University, Lithuania
Irma BUDGINAITE, Vilnius University, Lithuania
The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of using two mapping methods to study how migrant family changes are conceptualized and how these changes are viewed to be overcame. The paper is a reflection on a completed qualitative research of migrant families in Lithuania conducted in 2013-2014 as a part of the two-stage mixed methods research study funded by the Research Council of Lithuania.

The authors introduce the research design aimed at the analysing the study participant’s ‘voices‘. The qualitative research corresponds to four selected criteria: ‘participatory’ research (e.g., M. Fielding; S. Bragg); ‘image-based' research corresponding to the tradition of visual sociology (e.g., J. Prosser; G. Rose); maps are used as the means to facilitate the study participants’ narratives (e.g., I. Levin; L. Spencer and R. Pahl); two visual methods (‘Role-making’ map method and ‘Concentric circle’ map method) are combined with the goal of developing more comprehensive knowledge about family changes. ‘Role-making’ map method is a four step research scheme designed as modification of ‘My family’ mapping method, introduced by I. Levin. ‘Concentric circle’ map method is used as it is suggested by L. Spencer and R. Pahl.

The cases of selected migrant families are examined to disclose the way family members were interviewed and the research data was processed. The authors present the analysis of the lists of family changes and maps for overcoming hardships caused by changes, obtained with the help of the ‘Role-making’ map method. Further, the authors examine the repertoires of emotional support by analysing the maps of significant persons constructed with the ‘Concentric circle’ map method. The authors conclude with the advantages and limitations of using visual methods to study family changes.