The Social Researcher as Artist: Creativity as a Social Science Research Method

By Karen Maree Crinall.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The separation of art and science into distinct discipline areas produces partial, constrained knowledge. Incorporation of the personal and creative into social research allows engagement with issues of reflexivity, subjectivity, passion and desire and provides opportunity for the production of new knowledges and critiques about the social world. The idea that art, poetry, literature and other creative acts can facilitate transformation and change is gaining acceptance in qualitative social science research design, particularly in participatory action research, postmodern and feminist approaches. This paper traces a process that began as a social documenary photography project with homeless youth and developed into the creation of a series of paintings based on the religious icon of the Madonna and Child.

Keywords: Creative Research Methods, Reflexivity, Qualitative Social Science Research, Arts-based Research, Visual Research Methods, Interdisciplinarity, A/r/tography

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 3, Issue 11, pp.181-192. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.665MB).

Dr. Karen Maree Crinall

Senior Lecturer, School of Humanities, Communications and Social Sciences, Faculty of Arts, Monash University, Churchill, Victoria, Australia

Karen Crinall lectures in Social and Community Welfare and Human Services Management at Monash University. She has over twenty five years experience working, researching and teaching in social welfare in the areas of family violence and homelessness. As a researcher Karen has conducted practice-based and academic projects utilising feminist, visual and participatory action research methods. Karen has presented conference papers and published on the topics of women and homelessness, rural and regional responses to social change, working with young women and the visual representation of homeless women and young people. Karen’s qualifications span the visual arts, education and social sciences. She is currently researching integrated service system responses to family violence and media representations of women as victims of violence.


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