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Visual ethnography

Mannay, Dawn ORCID:, Fink, Janet and Lomax, Helen 2019. Visual ethnography. Atkinson, Paul, Delamont, Sara, Hardy, M. A. and Williams, Malcolm, eds. SAGE Research Methods Foundations, SAGE, (10.4135/9781526421036775961)

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This chapter provides a background to the field of visual ethnography and reflects on both its historical applications across different disciplines, and its contemporary uses as an approach to social research methods. The chapter asks, ‘How do researchers collect and generate visual data?’ In answering this question it focuses on how researchers ‘do’ a visual ethnographic study, setting out different approaches to, and techniques of, creating visual data, including assemblages of photographs, collections of artefacts, and the participatory techniques of film, mapping, and collage. The second question, ‘How do researchers analyse visual materials?’, leads to a discussion of how we come ‘to know’ the visual artefact itself, and the social contexts in which images are made and viewed; offering visual ethnographers new opportunities to understand social practices and relationships as they are articulated through the visual. Lastly, the chapter turns to issues of dissemination, and attends to the challenge, ‘How do researchers negotiate ethics, visibility and representation?’ In response, a number of approaches are presented as ways to ethically present and re-represent visual data, to engage audiences and generate impact. The chapter argues that visual ethnography has much to offer the field of social research, but that it is important that researchers continue to work on developing its methodological, analytical and ethical agendas for the future. The chapter provides a foundation for gaining an understanding of visual ethnography, and a basis for engaging with this project of development; offering strategies for negotiating best practice in fieldwork, analysis and visual audiencing.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
T Technology > TR Photography
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual methods; visual ethnography; creative methods; qualitative methods; photographs; images
Publisher: SAGE
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:44

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