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Multimodal ethnography

Dicks, Bella ORCID:, Soyinka, Bambo Luci and Coffey, Amanda Jane ORCID: 2006. Multimodal ethnography. Qualitative Research 6 (1) , pp. 77-96. 10.1177/1468794106058876

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Ethnographers, like other researchers, currently have a broad range of media at their disposal for conducting fieldwork, for aiding analysis and, most challengingly, for representing their completed work. These include digital media such as photographs, video film, audio-recordings, graphics and others besides. Through the computer ‘writing space’, these media can be integrated together, alongside more conventional written interpretation, into hypermedia environments. However, integration poses a number of potential problems, which this article addresses through a discussion of the semiotics of multimedia. In particular, it argues that different media can be seen to ‘afford’ different kinds of meaning. The integration of different media, therefore, has potentially significant implications for ethnography. Rather than seeing these media forms as discrete, we suggest an approach to ethnographic work which sees meaning as emerging from the fusion of differently mediated forms into new, ‘multi-semiotic’ modes. We therefore recognize the need to go beyond the current interest in visual methods, and instead to develop ways of understanding what kinds of meanings are produced in multimodal ethnographic work.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Uncontrolled Keywords: hypermedia, multimedia, multimodality, qualitative data analysis, qualitative research methods, representation
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISSN: 1468-7941
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2022 09:23

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