Visual Research Methods in the Social Sciences

Awakening Visions

By Stephen Spencer

© 2011 – Routledge

16 pages | 98 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415483858
pub: 2010-12-15
US Dollars$55.95
Hardback: 9780415483827
pub: 2010-12-15
US Dollars$145.00

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About the Book

Visual Research Methods is a guide for students, researchers and teachers in the social sciences who wish to explore and actively use a visual dimension in their research. This book offers an integrated approach to doing visual research, showing the potential for building convincing case studies using a mix of visual forms including: archive images, media, maps, objects, buildings, and video interviews.

Examples of the visual construction of ‘place’, social identity and trends of analysis are given in the first section of the book, whilst the essays in the second section highlight the astonishing creativity and innovation of four visual researchers. Each detailed example serves as a touchstone of quality and analysis in research, with themes ranging from the ethnography of a Venezuelan cult goddess to the forensic photography of the skeleton of a fourteenth-century nobleman. They give a keen sense of the motives, philosophies and benefits of using visual research methods.

This volume will be of practical interest to those embarking on visual research as well as more experienced researchers. Key concerns include the power of images and their changing significance in a world of cross – mediation, techniques of analysis and ethical issues, and how to unlock the potential of visual data for research.

Table of Contents

Introduction Part 1 1. The Process of Research and Visual Methods 2. Visualising Social Life 3. Mapping Society: A Sense of Place 4. Politics of Identity in Visual Research 5. Trends in Visual Analysis Part 2: Research Practices in Focus 6. Panizza Allmark - Towards a Photographie Féminine: Photography of the City 7. Sarah Atkinson – Multiple cameras, Multiple screens, Multiple possibilities: An insight into the interactive film production process 8. Roger Brown - Photography as Process 9. Roger Canals - Studying images through images. A visual ethnography of María Lionza’s cult in Venezuela Conclusions

About the Author

Dr Stephen Spencer is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Sheffield Hallam University. He has worked in both Further and Higher education in Australia, with a background in anthropology and cultural and media studies. His previous works include Social Identities: Multidisciplinary Approaches with Gary Taylor (Routledge, 2004); Race & Ethnicity: Culture, Identity and Representation (Routledge, 2006); 'A Dream Deferred': Ethnic Conflict in Guyana (Hansib Press, 2006).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Methodology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General