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Reflections on Using a Flash Card Activity for Studying Social Representations of Sexually Transmitted Infections

Mapp, F; (2017) Reflections on Using a Flash Card Activity for Studying Social Representations of Sexually Transmitted Infections. International Journal of Qualitative Methods , 16 (1) 10.1177/1609406917703741. Green open access

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Abstract

Image elicitation methods generating visual data are becoming more common in social science research to generate rich and detailed findings and access topics using nonverbal approaches. Current elicitation techniques using photos and drawing methods have limited application for studying sexually transmitted infections (STIs). To address this, I describe a novel elicitation method—the flash card activity—which involves ranking STI flash cards according to predetermined themed continua. The activity was embedded within semistructured interviews focusing on social representations of STIs and experiences and meanings of STI symptoms and care-seeking behavior with 27 participants. Participants were recruited from the third National Survey of Sexual Attitudes and Lifestyles that took place in Britain 2010–2012. This article reports on the methodological findings of implementing the flash card activity. The activity generated linked verbal and visual data that were more fluent, cohesive, and diverse than other interview data and disrupted normative accounts of infections, enabling participants to reflect on the formation and influences on their social representations. Acceptability of the flash card activity was high, although there were feasibility issues when either language comprehension or time were limited. There is scope for further methodological innovation and adaptation for different topics.

Type: Article
Title: Reflections on Using a Flash Card Activity for Studying Social Representations of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/1609406917703741
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406917703741
Language: English
Additional information: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License (http://www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/) which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: Flash cards, innovative method, visual data, image elicitation method, visual elicitation, semistructured interviews, ranking, ordering, sexually transmitted infections, joint display
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute for Global Health > Infection and Population Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1555742
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