Handbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences pp 1237-1254 | Cite as
Body Mapping in Research
This chapter describes the methodology of body mapping, a visual technique that is used to collect qualitative data from participants about their subjective experiences pertaining mainly to bodily experiences. We begin with a definition of body mapping and provide an account of its history. We describe the process of conducting a body mapping study and offer some examples of when this approach is used most appropriately in its various forms. In preparing to use a body mapping approach, researchers should be mindful of whether body mapping is the best approach to answer the research question; whether the purpose of the body map been made clear in the study; whether it is an appropriate technique to use with participants; what other qualitative methods will be used in conjunction with body mapping; how many contact sessions will be required with participants; how structured the body mapping sessions will be; and how the data will be analyzed. We provide a detailed example of how to conduct a body mapping study and call attention to important considerations such as ensuring methodological rigor and the ethical aspects of using this approach. Body mapping is an innovative methodological technique that is often able to capture the imagination of research participants. Our aim in this chapter is to convince readers that body mapping has its place as a methodological approach alongside a range of other approaches in social and behavioral research.
KeywordsBody mapping Research Methods Qualitative Visual methodology Social science
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