Exploring the value of photography and video as legitimate forms of social enquiry, An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction constitutes a guidebook for conducting applied visual sociology within health related or social science research projects, providing a full account of the visual research journey and presenting a tested template for conducting theoretically-driven, sociologically-informed research. Against the background of the growing popularity of visual methods, this book goes beyond using photographs for illustrative and descriptive purposes, to emphasise the importance of sociological, epistemological and analytical theory, together with methods of data collection and the presentation of images for applied purposes. As such, An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction offers a template for considering visual data as applied research, providing a full account of the manner in which visual methods can inform research and specific interventions, together with opportunities for students and practitioners to consider applied visual sociology in a series of practical or self-study tasks . It will therefore appeal not only to students and researchers involved in social and health-related qualitative research, or those seeking to conduct innovative visual projects within the social sciences, but also to scholars interested in research methods, visual ethnography and harm reduction approaches to drug use.
Stephen Parkin is a qualitative researcher at the Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Services, University of Oxford, UK and author of An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction.
’Parkin’s latest book makes for essential reading for researchers thinking of using visual methods in the social sciences and for harm-reduction practitioners working with the consequences of public drug use. The ethical, methodological and practical issues discussed in An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction will resonate across a broad spectrum of readers and be an eye-opener for others.’ Alasdair Forsyth, Glasgow Caledonian University, UK 'A nuanced discussion of drug use is no simple task. Ever-growing bodies of literature from a variety of academic disciplines continue to produce a wide range of content with regards to drug use. Nor is it easy to effectively introduce and implement research methods that both satisfy academic pursuits and hold relevance for non-academic interventions. An Applied Visual Sociology: Picturing Harm Reduction manages to not only contribute to research on injecting drug use and harm reduction through the detailed description of Stephen Parkin’s original research, but also develops a convincing defence for the usefulness of visual methods in general and applied visual sociology in particular. ... For those already engaged in either visual methods or harm reduction (or both, like the author of this review), Picturing Harm Reduction is a decidedly useful and relevant book which significantly enhances the understanding and application of such research and practice.' Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy