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Moving methods: constructing emotionally poignant geographies of HIV in Auckland, New Zealand

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Abstract:

As we strive to fully understand the meanings different people create and attach to places, we need methods that allow multiple and subjective experiences of place to be critically uncovered and understood. This paper reflects on the employment of photography and caption-writing in research with HIV-positive men-who-have-sex-with-men in Auckland, New Zealand. These methods contributed in constructing an argument that the acquisition of HIV affected experiences of both literal place as well as place-in-the-world for the research participants. With the ability to move with participants (both physically and emotionally), the methods helped to illustrate a range of (re)negotiations of self and place beyond diagnosis. Moreover, engagement with these methods resulted in personal gain for many of the participants in the research. It is concluded that the continued (re)development of creative (ethically sound) qualitative methods can add rigour to our attempts at representing the complexities inherent in the relationships between people and the places they occupy.

Keywords: HIV; New Zealand; caption-writing; emotion; movement; photo-elicitation

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2009.00927.x

Affiliations: Marie Curie Palliative Care Research Unit, Department of Mental Health Sciences, University College London, London, Email: j.myers@medsch.ucl.ac.uk

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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