A Visual Method of Studying Sports: The Photo-Elicitation Interview

in Sociology of Sport Journal
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  • 1 The Ohio State University
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Photo-elicitation is a technique of interviewing in which photographs are used to stimulate and guide a discussion between the interviewer and the respondent. While much of the previous research done with the method has been conducted by anthropologists in foreign cultures, the technique is also well suited for the study of sports in America. This article discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this method in comparison to standard interviewing, participant observation, and survey methods of studying sports. An illustrative portion is presented of a photo-elicitation interview conducted with an elite college wrestler about the violence, pain, and injury inherent in his sport, and the article concludes with a brief description of other sociology of sport topics currently being researched with the photo-elicitation interview.

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