The Identity Cloud Method: a Technique for Visualising and Stimulating Discussion about Identity

Sarah Foxen

Abstract


Identity is a concept which is central in many academic disciplines and ancillary in many more. The concept is approached in various ways; both theoretically and in praxis. In the social sciences, one of the ways that scholars have construed and measured identity is with rating scales. Rating scales, however, do not acknowledge the fluid, interactional and contextually contingent nature of identity. In this article I present an innovative visual method, the Identity Cloud Method, which overcomes the shortcomings of the traditional rating scale. Coloured paper discs are arranged on paper to represent an individual’s identity in the form of a cloud. The method has been piloted in several settings and feedback suggests it has applications both as a research tool and beyond the academy in educational, professional, and health and well-being contexts. 


Keywords


visual research methods, creative methods, rating scale, identity, liminality

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References


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