Skip to Main Content

Arts Based Research

History of ABR Approaches


"What these authors are struggling over is how to get out of the representational straightjacket that social scientists have been in for most of this century." --William G. Tierney, Guest Editor's Introduction, Writing Life's History, Qualitative Inquiry, 1999 [p. 309].


  • Needed new approaches to answer the questions:
    • How does research work? How are meanings made? What social purposes might this research serve?


  • Activist Art -- Feminist Driven


  • Eisner calls for ART that is social science and social science that is ARTFUL


  • Eisner organized first Arts-Based Research Institute at Stanford
  • New journal: Qualitative Inquiry


  • Narrative approaches are commonplace in qualitative research