The use of body-mapping in interpretative phenomenological analyses: A methodological discussion

Maike Klein, Rebecca J. Milner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (SciVal)
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The increasing popularity of Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis
(IPA) in social research brings an increasing criticism about its validity,
robustness and, more recently, its lack of expressive features. Recently,
the novel arts-based research approach called body-mapping was recognized as enhancing social science research in creative and nuanced ways.
Body-mapping allows for unique insights into participants’ lived experiences, the meaning thereof, and into how meaning is impacted by their socio-cultural contexts. This article provides new understandings about
the potential use of body-mapping as part of an IPA framework by
drawing upon existing literature to critically discuss their philosophical
and methodological congruence. The following discussion demonstrates
how particular strengths of body-mapping align with weaknesses of IPA
and that, when merged, they may be especially useful for research with
vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations. Limitations of this discussion
and implications for future research are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-543
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Social Research Methodology
Issue number5
Early online date20 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • arts-based research
  • body-mapping
  • emancipatory-based research (EBA)
  • Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA)
  • qualitative analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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