PhD Graduate Kat Kolar on Timeline Mapping in Qualitative Interviews

Ph.D. Graduate Kat Kolar in collaboration with Professor Farah Ahmad, Linda Chan, and Professor Patricia Erickson, published an article in the International Journal of Qualitative Methods, entitled “Timeline Mapping in Qualitative Interviews: A Study of Resilience with Marginalized Groups.” The study contributes to the literature on visual methods. It does so by providing an analysis of the implementation and findings of a study through the use of participant-created visual timelines and semi-structured interviewing in order to explore resilience among marginalized groups in the GTA.

Kat Kolar obtained her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 2018. Her dissertation is titled Differentiating the Drug Normalization Framework: A Mixed Methods Investigation of Substance Use among Undergraduate Students in Canada. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow at UBC researching the social integration of substance use and health inequities impacting people who use illicit drugs. Patricia Erickson is a retired senior scientist at CAMH and a Professor (status-only) in the Department of Sociology and the Centre for Crime and Socio-Legal Studies at the University of Toronto. Her research interests include illicit drug use and drug policy; youth, violence, mental health, and addictions.

Professor Farah Ahmed works in the Dalla Lana School of Public Health in the Social & Behavioural Health Sciences Division. Her research interests include mental health, intimate partner violence, and health promotion.

Linda Chan currently works as an educational lead developer at McMaster University. She is interested in program development, knowledge translation, and adult education.

We have posted the citation and abstract below. The full text can be found here.

Kolar, K., Ahmad, F., Chan, L., & Erickson, P. G. (2015). Timeline Mapping in Qualitative Interviews: A Study of Resilience with Marginalized Groups. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 13–32.

Growing interest in visual timeline methods signals a need for critical engagement. Drawing on critical emancipatory epistemologies in our study exploring resilience among marginalized groups, we investigate how the creation of visual timelines informs verbal semistructured interviewing. We consider both how experiences of drawing timelines and how the role of the timeline in interviews varied for South Asian immigrant women who experienced domestic violence, and street-involved youth who experienced prior or recent violent victimization. Here we focus on three overarching themes developed through analysis of timelines: (a) rapport building, (b) participants as navigators, and (c) therapeutic moments and positive closure. In the discussion, we engage with the potential of visual timelines to supplement and situate semistructured interviewing, and illustrate how the framing of research is central to whether that research maintains a critical emancipatory orientation.