Although older refugees have similar characteristics and vulnerabilities as other populations that have benefited from visual research methods, there is scarce evidence of these methods being used for qualitative social work studies with older refugees. In this article, we discuss the application of visual methods for social work research with older refugees for a better understanding of their experiences and challenges, highlighting how it can be evocative, improve discussions by reaching senses that ordinary interviews cannot grasp, avoid re-traumatisation during research, and build resilience and coping in older refugees. We propose that visual methods could address power dynamics that privilege researchers over participants like older refugees, thus empowering and ensuring older refugees control research processes. This can be crystallised by using visual methods in participatory research. We also outline the drawbacks and concerns of using these methods for research with this population. We conclude by presenting a discourse on how visual methods can advance social work knowledge for practice and social change.


social work, qualitative research, visual methods, older refugees

Author Bio(s)

Prince Chiagozie Ekoh, University of Nigeria, Nsukka and University of Calgary Please direct correspondence to princechiagozie.ekoh@unn.edu.ng

Christine A. Walsh is a professor at the University of Calgary. Please direct correspondence to cwash@ucalgary.ca

Publication Date


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.





Included in

Social Work Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.