IMAGINE: A card-based discussion method

Ulrike Felt*, Simone Schumann, Claudia G. Schwarz-Plaschg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to book/report/conference proceedingChapter in book/report

1 Citation (Scopus)


This chapter introduces IMAGINE-a card-based group discussion method for qualitative research and engagement processes. IMAGINE was developed as a response to three major challenges that tend to emerge in discussion groups and participatory exercises. First, it renders new or complex issues accessible by offering participants a broad repertoire of structured resources without preconfiguring the issue too much. Second, it seeks to contribute to participatory justice by assuring that all participants get time and space for expressing their visions. Third, the cards allow the introduction of expert opinions without expert presence, thus avoiding the emergence of strong lay-expert divides. The method consists of a number of different card sets and a specific choreography. We explain the rationale behind different card types and how researchers can go about creating their own card sets. The contribution also includes suggestions for how to conduct and analyze IMAGINE discussion groups so as to harness their full potential. It concludes by pointing towards potential future directions in which the method could be developed.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research Methods in Health Social Sciences
PublisherSpringer Singapore
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9789811052514
ISBN (Print)9789811052507
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jan 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Card-based discussion method
  • Deliberation
  • Engagement
  • Group discussions
  • Participation
  • Participatory justice

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Medicine


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