How do you picture identity? What happens when you ask individuals to make visual representations of their own identities, influences, and relationships?
Drawing upon an array of disciplines from neuroscience to philosophy, and art to social theory, David Gauntlett explores the ways in which researchers can embrace people's everyday creativity in order to understand social experience.
Seeking an alternative to traditional interviews and focus groups, he outlines studies in which people have been asked to make visual things – such as video, collage, and drawing – and then interpret them. This leads to an innovative project in which Gauntlett asked people to build metaphorical models of their identities in Lego. This creative reflective method provides insights into how individuals present themselves, understand their own life story, and connect with the social world.
Creative Explorations is a lively and original discussion of identities, media influences, and creativity, which will be of interest to both students and academics.
Table of Contents
1. Introduction 2. The Self and Creativity 3. Science and What we can Say about the World 4. Social Science and Social Experience 5. Inside the Brain 6. Using Visual and Creative Methods 7. More Visual Sociologies 8. Building Identities in Metaphors 9. What a Whole Identity Model Means 10. Conclusion: Eleven Findings on Methods, Identities, and Audiences
David Gauntlett is Professor of Media and Communications, University of Westminster, London. He is the author of several books on media audiences and identities, including Media, Gender and Identity (2002) and Moving Experiences (Second Edition, 2005). He produces the award-winning website on media and identities, Theory.org.uk, and the hub for creative methodologies, ArtLab.org.uk.