“Those songs were the ones that made me, nobody asked me this question before”: Music Elicitation with ex-gang involved men about their experiences of childhood domestic violence and abuse
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Authors: Levell, J.
Journal: International Journal of Qualitative Methods
© The Author(s) 2019. This article describes the use of music and music videos as an elicitation tool within life-story narrative interviews. The study focused on the lives of men who had experienced domestic violence and abuse in childhood and become involved on road and/or with gangs. Music elicitation was used as participants were asked to select three music tracks that aided them telling their life stories, with particular reference to their experiences of domestic violence in childhood and their involvement on road and in gangs. The music tracks and in many cases the accompanying music videos were viewed in the interview space by both the researcher and participant together. In this case, music elicitation was found to be a very valuable element to the interviews and enhanced the experience for both the participant and researcher. Music elicitation operated in three main ways. Firstly, music often had been used as a personal coping mechanism, and this was recalled in the interview, acting as an anchor to the memory. Secondly, at points, both the music lyrics and their accompanying music videos were used as tools for communication by the participant, through them being used as metaphors, or as illustrations of the past. Lastly, the music was used by the participants as a narrative tool to structure and pace the interviews, giving them greater control over the interview space. This article shows promising results in using music as an elicitation tool for research with this participant group discussing sensitive issues.