Using Photovoice to Understand the Experiences of Life as a Mother in Thetford, Norfolk, England—A Community-Based Participatory Action Research Method Embodying Matricentric Feminism

Hayley Edwardson


Using photovoice to demonstrate a matricentric approach with mothers involved in community research illustrates a powerful example of a methodology that aligns with matricentric feminism and exhibits its value. The purpose of this community-based participatory research was to gain insight into the experiences of mothers from lower socioeconomic backgrounds in Thetford, Norfolk, England, where there are pockets of high deprivation. The researcher provided disposable cameras to a group of mothers and asked them to photograph their experiences as well as the issues affecting them as mothers. Once the photographs were developed, the mothers discussed the photographs through unstructured interviews. The results produced sixty-four photographs, and the discussions yielded further stories. There were four main themes discovered upon analysis: crime and safety; housing; appropriate areas for children and environment; and surroundings. The author recommended further research in this locality to acknowledge the strengths and assets mothers demonstrate while mothering and to encourage using a matricentric feminist lens within scholarly work for further policy development and community empowerment.

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We are grateful to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) for its ongoing support of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement.