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27 articles matched your search for the keywords:

Visual Sociology, Hypermedia, Online Methods, Singapore, Photojournalism, Visual Methods, Photography

Reflections in an Unblinking Eye: Negotiating Identity in the Production of a Documentary

McGettigan
Sociological Research Online 3 (1) 7

Keywords: Documentary; Ethnography; Reactivity; Simulation; Visual Sociology
Abstract: The presence of a motion picture documentary team during a Green Tortoise adventure trip created a variety of unique opportunities to evaluate the construction of identity in a postmodern, 'cinematic society' (Denzin, 1995). While, the 'gaze' (Nichols, 1991) of cameras often participated directly in the production of 'spectacular' events, the 'simulating' (Baudrillard, 1988, 1994) gaze of the cameras also served as a 'reflexive mechanism' through which to expose cinematic influences that construct contemporary reality.

Method in a Photographic Enquiry of Being Deaf

Thoutenhoofd
Sociological Research Online 3 (2) 2

Keywords: Cultural Sociology; Deaf Studies; Method; Social Photography; Visual Sociology
Abstract: What follows is based on the hypothesis that aspects of a particular, socially and culturally distinct, visuality are manifest in visual data such as photographs. I will explore this hypothesis with reference to Deaf people, people who use sign language and who are members of the Deaf community, using data from earlier research (Thoutenhoofd 1996). To this end, I have opted for two parallel texts, a photographic one as well as a written one, cross-referenced by hyperlinks. The photographs form the core, or the 'evidence' of the method outlined in the text. The photographs portray a number of pertinent visual characteristics and strategies found where Deaf people congregate into clearly defined communities, for example Deaf clubs, d/Deaf colleges, and in the pages of magazines aimed at d/Deaf audiences; yet the photographs bear witness to the commonplace, portraying regular Deaf club and Deaf college activities. In the process of discussing the reasons for taking the photographs and having photographs taken, I set out to describe what is meant by a 'Deaf visuality', and to suggest its relevance to research into deafness and being d/Deaf.

Hypermedia and Ethnography: Reflections on the Construction of a Research Approach

Bella Dicks and Bruce Mason
Sociological Research Online 3 (3) 3

Keywords: CAQDAS; Computers; Ethnography; Hypermedia; Methodology; New Media; Qualitative Research; Visual Ethnography
Abstract: Current interest in ethnography within social research has focused on its potential to offer insights into the complexity of the social world. There have increasingly been calls for ethnography to reflect this complexity more adequately. Two aspects of ethnographic enquiry have been particularly singled out as areas in need of redefinition: the delineation of ethnography's object of study and its mode of presentation. Both of these areas are implicated in the recent attention to the possibilities of hypermedia authoring for ethnography. The paper offers a discussion of this potential in the light of an ongoing research project with which the authors are engaged. The project is designed to enable this potential to be assessed, and to provide for the construction of what the authors call an ethnographic hypermedia environment (EHE). We believe that the promise of hypermedia lies not only in its facility for non-sequential data organisation, but also in its ability to integrate data in different media. The synthesis of the visual, aural, verbal and pictorial planes of meaning holds considerable promise for the expansion and deepening of ethnographic knowledge. Consequently, we suggest that hypermedia has implications for all stages of the research process, and argue against the current tendency to see it as merely a tool either for analysis or for presentation. These arguments are illustrated by means of a commentary on some work in progress.

Sociological Engagements with Computing: the Advent of E-Science and Some Implications for the Qualitative Research Community

Susan M. Hodgson and Tom Clark
Sociological Research Online 12 (3) 9

Keywords: Grid Technology, E-Social Science, Secondary Analysis, Visual Sociology, Humanities Computing
Abstract: Abstract This paper explores some of the implications for qualitative researchers within sociology, of developments in Grid technology and thereby aim to contribute to the debate on the future of sociological research in an increasingly digitised world. The well-established field of humanities computing provides an interesting counterpoint. We use the methodological techniques of 'secondary analysis' and 'visual research', two currently marginal approaches within sociological research but with huge potential within e-environments, as lenses through which the potentials and pitfalls of Grid-supported qualitative work might be anticipated. Rather than a concern with the technical however, we argue for a concurrent attention to the methodological in relation to technological developments. We find that current developments in the qualitative field are more in line with the interests of the humanities and this may shape and constrain the research that sociologists could do. Also, that the conditions to support innovative sociological developments for qualitative Grid computing are not currently well developed or supported. We conclude that in order for a more progressive e-social science agenda to emerge, a broader constituency of sociological researchers should engage with the technological debate, otherwise we risk missing out on opportunities to shape emerging technologies to our research needs.

The Credit Crunch and the High Street: 'Coming Like a Ghost Town'

Chris Yuill
Sociological Research Online 14 (2) 12

Keywords: Credit Crunch, High Street, Visual Sociology, Urban, Consumerism, Social Exclusion
Abstract: Drawing on primary visual data and secondary sources this rapid response piece speculates on the changes to the British high street as a consequence of the credit crunch. The changes are much more profound than simply the loss of a place to shop. For both individuals and wider society the changes to the British high street carry implications for issues of self-identity, social contacts and social exclusion.

Interpreting Images of Motherhood: The Contexts and Dynamics of Collective Viewing

Helen Lomax and Janet Fink
Sociological Research Online 15 (3) 2

Keywords: Visual Sociology, Photography, Motherhood, Audience, Conversation Analysis, Visual Methods, Reflexivity
Abstract: Our research is concerned with cultural representations of birth and mothering and, as part of this, we are engaged with debates concerning competing theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of visual images. In particular we are interested in how meanings of an image are reflexively produced, managed and negotiated. That is, whether and to what extent interpretation is influenced by personal experience, emotion and memory; the ways in which the context of viewing may mediate meaning; and how the relationship between researcher and research subject may shape the interpretative process. In order to explore such questions, this paper draws on the tape-recorded discussion of a group of women collectively viewing images of new mothers. These included photographs of mothers and their newborns taken by the Dutch photographer Rineke Dijkstra, and photographs of us, the authors, as new mothers, taken by our respective families. The paper blends the analytic framework of conversation analysis and discursive psychology in order to consider both our own and the discussants' responses to these photographs as they emerge through the dynamic and discursive process of collective viewing. In addition we consider the significance of our own and the discussants' biographies and reproductive experiences, as they are made visible in the talk-in-interaction, for the meanings generated by the group's engagement with the photographs. Through this reflexive approach we highlight the significance of the interplay between broader cultural narratives, genres, memories and experiences for the interpretive process and the analytical challenges posed by collective viewings of images in which meanings are discursively situated, negotiated and silenced.

Recent Methodological Opportunities in Online Hypermedia – a Case Study of Photojournalism in Singapore

Terence Heng
Sociological Research Online 16 (2) 15

Keywords: Visual Sociology, Hypermedia, Online Methods, Singapore, Photojournalism, Visual Methods, Photography
Abstract: This methodological paper reviews the recent work done by photojournalists in Singapore who have leveraged on the use of multimedia to create meaning-rich narratives of the social situations they investigate. Using an online multimedia project recently launched by journalists and photojournalists in Singapore, I will show how photographers'/photojournalists' expertise, knowledge and combination of text and photographs serve to exemplify the opportunities that hypermedia affords to sociologists, and argue that hypermedia presentations are particularly useful in extending auto/biographical narratives, encouraging collaborative research, as well as interrogating the everyday social lives of our informants.

Experimenting with Sociology: A View from the Outlook Tower

Charlotte Bates
Sociological Research Online 16 (3) 9

Keywords: Experimental Methods, Visual Sociology
Abstract: This paper describes a site-specific sociological experiment and looks back at the history of British sociology from the Outlook Tower in Edinburgh. It considers the role of technological innovation in observation, and explores how attention is guided through two exercises in sensory attunement; augmented listening and telescopic looking. Reconfiguring the observer through different technologies and devices, the paper questions what it means to listen and to look, and highlights how our sociological outlook is deeply ethical and historical.

Conceptualizing the 'Visual Essay' as a Way of Generating and Imparting Sociological Insight: Issues, Formats and Realisations

Luc Pauwels
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 1

Keywords: Visual Essay; Visual Research; Visual Sociology, Scholarly Expression
Abstract: This article discusses and exemplifies more visual and expressive way of constructing and presenting sociological insight. It seeks to articulate the specific demands, traits and potentials of the 'visual essay' as a societal and sociological practice and format. More in particular it provides some observations, propositions and arguments that may further help to clarify what the visual sociological essay as a unorthodox scholarly product might entail and what place it should acquire in the broader scholarly discourse. This theoretical discussion is complemented with excerpts of concrete visual essays of both scholarly and non-scholarly origin. These examples help to explain some of the basic strengths of this format that tries to play out the synergy of the distinct forms of expression that are combined: images, words, layout and design, adding up to a scientifically informed statement.

A Video Testimony on Rural Poverty and Social Exclusion

Eldin Fahmy and Simon Pemberton
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 2

Keywords: Video Research; Visual Methods; Rural Poverty; Social Exclusion
Abstract: In this paper, we seek to illustrate the potential theoretical and methodological contributions that video research methods can make in advancing social-scientific understanding and informing public debates on social problems. We do so by presenting findings on the experience and impacts of poverty and exclusion based upon the video 'testimony' with 33 people experiencing low income in one relatively remote rural area, the County of Herefordshire. Based on these data and subsequent follow-up qualitative work, this study highlights the personal impacts of disadvantage associated with a denial of rights, assault on dignity, and processes of stigmatisation and disempowerment. In doing so it demonstrates the potential of video data both as an emerging social research practice in its own right and as a vehicle for giving voice to marginalised groups within wider public debates and policy development.

The North Laine: A Visual Essay

Chris Yuill
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 4

Keywords: Visual Sociology, Urban Village, Urban, Glocalization, Brighton
Abstract: The North Laine in Brighton provides a useful case study in exploring different ways of experiencing and imagining urban life. The area possess many distinctive street forms and supports counter-cultural lifestyles, which emphasise environmentalism and alternative forms of capitalism, such as cooperative and collective organisation of the workplace. Drawing on the ideas and theories of Henri Lefebvre the essay focuses on (1) the various social and historical process that have conditioned and influenced the development of the area and (2) the various social power relations that have both sustained the area, allowing it to develop into its current format, and in turn question its future. A visual methodological approach is used to present the data and to convey the distinctive aesthetic of The North Laine.

Capturing Christmas: The Sensory Potential of Data from Participant Produced Video

Stewart Muir and Jennifer Mason
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 5

Keywords: Visual Methods, Audio-Visual Media, Digital Video, Family, Tradition, Christmas
Abstract: In this paper, we discuss our use of participant-produced digital footage of family Christmases, collected as part of a larger project exploring family backgrounds and family traditions. The audio-visual recording (and subsequent dissemination) of these otherwise difficult-to-access domestic celebrations provides important insights into the multi-dimensional, multisensory, physical and situational nature of such family traditions. With their blend of genre styles - from narrated documentary to home-movie style wobbly camera work - the 'Christmas videos' show both conscious 'displays' of family life and practice (performed for the camera, for the participants and for posterity) and largely unscripted, and sometimes noisily chaotic, interactions. Although videos cannot provide unmediated access into what such traditions are 'really like', in combination with our other data sources the footage has helped to push our thinking about family traditions as being at once intellectualised productions and a series of bodily engagements with a host of practices, understandings, knowledges, family histories, things and people. This form of 'backstage' analytical usage of the video data has been very productive for us. However, we argue that there are ethical issues in publicly presenting such data alongside other forms of data, eg interview data, in a deep sociological analysis of people's personal lives. There is the potential not only for the production of incisive knowledge and insight, but also for a prying and distinctively sociological intrusiveness, and sociologists need to think carefully about how to proceed.

Looking for Africville - Complementary Visual Constructions of a Contended Space

Stephen Spencer
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 6

Keywords: Visual Methods, the Sociological Imagination, Dialectical Images, Environmental Racism, Traumascapes, Narrative Mediation, Walking Ethnography, Popular Representation, Discursive Structures
Abstract: This paper explores the historical sources, personal narratives and representations of Africville, an area beside the Bedford Basin near Halifax in Nova Scotia which has been the site of a struggle for social justice and reparation since it was destroyed by the city of Halifax authorities over 40 years ago. The article examines the complex construction of the place as a source of identity and protest, the persistence of the community in memories and stories retrieved in walking the site with a former resident. Through careful consideration of video and still images, artworks and archive maps, the study traces the intersection of different discourses and shows how visual representations and their interpretation produce a complex understanding of place. Images, it is argued, have a different ontology to writing and produce a gradually unfolding, parallel argument. Africville is considered through a combination of traditional written texts, visual ethnographic sources and popular cultural signs, producing a complementary and intersubjective appreciation of a place and its lines of possibility.

Ethical Regulation and Visual Methods: Making Visual Research Impossible or Developing Good Practice?

Rose Wiles, Amanda Coffey, Judy Robison and Jon Prosser
Sociological Research Online 17 (1) 8

Keywords: Visual Research; Visual Methods; Ethics Committees; Ethical Regulation; Research Governance; Qualitative Methods
Abstract: The ethical regulation of social research in the UK has been steadily increasing over the last decade or so and comprises a form of audit to which all researchers in Higher Education are subject. Concerns have been raised by social researchers using visual methods that such ethical scrutiny and regulation will place severe limitations on visual research developments and practice. This paper draws on a qualitative study of social researchers using visual methods in the UK. The study explored their views, the challenges they face and the practices they adopt in relation to processes of ethical review. Researchers reflected on the variety of strategies they adopted for managing the ethical approval process in relation to visual research. For some this meant explicitly 'making the case' for undertaking visual research, notwithstanding the ethical challenges, while for others it involved 'normalising' visual methods in ways which delimited the possible ethical dilemmas of visual approaches. Researchers only rarely identified significant barriers to conducting visual research from ethical approval processes, though skilful negotiation and actively managing the system was often required. Nevertheless, the climate of increasing ethical regulation is identified as having a potential detrimental effect on visual research practice and development, in some instances leading to subtle but significant self-censorship in the dissemination of findings.

Engaging with a World Outside of Ourselves: Vistas of Flatness, Children's Work and the Urban Informal Economy

Phillip Mizen and Yaw Ofosu-Kusi
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 17

Keywords: Child Labour, Informal Economy, Visual Sociology, Street Children
Abstract: This paper considers the work and labour of children living on the streets of Accra, Ghana. It does so in two distinctive ways. First, it considers how the children's photographs of a day or two in their working lives, and the dialogues that go on in, through and around them, may contribute to the making of strong sociological arguments about children's work. In so doing, this paper elaborates the connections between visual sociology and realist traditions of photography, and argues that photographs can contribute distinctive and novel sources of insight into working children's lives and a powerful, humanising media of dissemination. Second, these arguments are then deployed to examine street children's experiences of work. Conceptualised in terms of its 'flatness', the paper explores the informal means of regulation through which the children are locked into types of working that prove difficult to escape.

Performing in a Night-Time Leisure Venue: A Visual Analysis of Erotic Dance

Katy Pilcher
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 19

Keywords: Photo-Elicitation; Visual Methods; Erotic Dance; Aesthetic Labour; Emotional Labour; Performance; Self
Abstract: This article analyses a range of different meanings attached to images of erotic dance, with a particular focus on the 'impression management' (Goffman 1959) enacted by dancers. It presents a visual analysis of the work of a female erotic performer in a lesbian erotic dance venue in the UK. Still photographs, along with observational data and interviews, convey the complexity and skill of an erotic dancer's diverse gendered and sexualised performances. The visual data highlights the extensive 'aesthetic labour' (Nickson et al. 2001) and 'emotional labour' (Hochschild 1983) the dancer must put in to constructing her work 'self'. However, a more ambitious use of the visual is identified: the dancer's own use of images of her work. This use of the visual by dancers themselves highlights a more complex 'impression management' strategy undertaken by a dancer and brings into question the separation of 'real' and 'work' 'selves' in erotic dance.

Picturing Work in an Industrial Landscape: Visualising Labour, Place and Space

Tim Strangleman
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 20

Keywords: Labour Geography; Visual Sociology; Sociology of Work; Representation of Work, Place and Space
Abstract: This paper explores the notion of the visual landscape of work. Coming from a sociological perspective it attempts to view work, its meanings and the identities that surround it, through the lens of landscape. It takes on recent challenges to work sociology made by economic/labour geographers who argue that sociological understanding of employment are insufficiently spatial - space if used as a concept at all is reduced to the notion of a boundary containing economic processes rather than something that is constructed and in turn constructs work. Using material from ongoing research into the former Guinness Brewery at Park Royal in West London, and in particular a range of archival and contemporary visual sources, this paper illustrates the ways in which spatial ideas underpin complex sociological notions of work practice and culture. It will examine the way space is implicated in the location, construction, labour, and closing of this once famous brewery and how visual material helps to unlock theoretical and methodological understandings of work and industry.

Identityscapes of a Hair Salon: Work Identities and the Value of Visual Methods

Harriet Shortt
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 22

Keywords: Identity, Space, Objects, Visual, Identityscape, Time, Photography, Photomontage, Hairdressers
Abstract: This article considers how one group of workers, hairdressers, use aspects of their material landscape of work as important resources in the production and re-production of their work identities. It shows how the participants of the study use the spaces, objects and things in their workplaces to form a visual narrative of who they are. The article also considers the significance of visual methods in such identity research. It argues for encouraging participants using participant-led photography to choose how to view and arrange their photographs. Participants' preference for paper analogue prints rather than on-screen digital images allowed them to work with multiple images simultaneously, rather than consecutively, and enabled them to create richer accounts of career development by incorporating time and movement in their stories. The participants' construction of these 'identityscapes', it is argued, can be usefully understood in relation to the concept of 'photomontages' developed by the British artist David Hockney.

Fishmongers in a Global Economy: Craft and Social Relations on a London Market

Dawn Lyon and Les Back
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 23

Keywords: Craft, Embodiment, Ethnography, Fishmonger, Photography, Sensory Sociology, Skill, Tacit Knowledge, Work
Abstract: This article is based on multi-sensory ethnographic research into fishmongers on a south London market, the setting for a specific topography of work. We contrast Charlie, a white Londoner whose family has been in the fish business for over 100 years, with Khalid, an immigrant from Kashmir, who, even without the tacit knowledge of generations at his fingertips, has successfully found a place for himself in the local and global economy of fish. The research pays attention to the everyday forms of work that take place when the fishmongers sell to the public. We use these two very different cases to explore what constitutes work and labour and the different sensibilities that these two men bring to their trade. Drawing on observations, photography and sound recordings, the paper also represents the fishmongers at work. We take the two cases in turn to discuss learning the trade and the craft of fishmongering, the social relations of the market, and the art of buying and selling fish. More generally, the article explores how global connections are threaded through the local economy within a landscape of increasing cultural and racial diversity. It also critically discusses the gain of the visual as well as the aural for generating insights into and representing the sensuous quality of labour as an embodied practice.

Space, Buildings and the Life Worlds of Home-Based Workers: Towards Better Design

Frances Holliss
Sociological Research Online 17 (2) 24

Keywords: Home-Based Work, Space, Design, Visual Methods, Life-Worlds, Architecture, Class, Lifestyle, Occupational Identity, Gender, Dwelling, Workplace, Family, Public, Private, Home, Workhome, Typology
Abstract: This article draws on recent research into the architecture of home‐based work, the working practices of the home-based workforce and the range and types of buildings they inhabit. The initial project was conducted in 2005-07. It involved 76 informants, from urban, suburban and rural contexts in England: a London Borough, a London suburb and a West Sussex village. Follow-on research was conducted in London in 2009-11. Originating in architecture, the research employed a number of visual methods, including photography, orthogonal drawing and diagram-making. While these visual methods are commonplace in architecture, they are normally used to portray idealized buildings and interiors. People and their everyday lives are usually absent. In contrast, as is more typical of sociology, a primary concern of this research was to understand the ordinary daily lives of people who either lived at their workplace or worked in their homes. The research sought a better understanding of the historical and contemporary significance of the spaces and buildings that would be of use to this workforce, one which could give a voice to contemporary home-based workers across the social spectrum and in a wide variety of occupations. Representing their life-worlds visually has been central to this aim.

Power, Participation and Privilege - Methodological Lessons from Using Visual Methods in Research with Young People

Alexandra Allan
Sociological Research Online 17 (3) 8

Keywords: Participation, Power, Young People, Privilege, Social Class, Qualitative Research, Visual Methods
Abstract: The practice of using participatory visual methods in research with young people is one that has come under scrutiny in recent years. Many scholars have examined these practices in order to question the singular and simple notions of voice that are often represented in these accounts. Taking up the challenges laid down by these scholars, this paper attempts to critically disturb some of the claims that have been made about this supposedly inherently collaborative and empowering practice. Drawing on research with a group of privileged young people the paper will argue that there is a real need for researchers to examine the ways in which different subjectivities are performatively produced in the participatory research process - to explore the ways in which the methods themselves may work to constitute difference and to position young people as powerful or powerless in this process. A call is also made for researchers to inspect their own practice and use of visual methods, in order to recognise the particular knowledges, subjectivities and truths that are constituted as a result.

Views of the Neighbourhood: A Photo-Elicitation Study of the Built Environment

Victoria D. Alexander
Sociological Research Online 18 (1) 10

Keywords: Photo-Elicitation, Visual Methods, Photography, Built Environment, Neighbourhood, Place, Vulnerability, Signal Disorder, Imagined Community.  
Abstract: Drawing on a participant-centred, photo-elicitation study of the built environment in three neighbourhoods, I discuss how people see their neighbourhoods, both in the visual and aesthetic sense, and also how they view (metaphorically) their local surroundings. Participants took part in photo-elicitation interviews and, previously, in standard (verbal-only) semi-structured interviews. Results suggest that people care about their neighbourhoods and value local amenities, attractive houses, public art, and trees, greenery and open spaces. They are concerned about such mundane issues as litter and poorly kept properties, which they find unattractive. Pictures of narrow alleyways and deserted areas were prevalent in connection with fear and vulnerability. I suggest that as participants construct their views of the built environment, they situate their actual neighbourhoods against idealised 'imagined' neighbourhoods, and both the actual surroundings and the idealised construction play into their views of their own place. In addition, it is clear that when participants are asked to take photographs of their neighbourhoods, they think visually. Consequently, participants enact their responses differently in visual research than they do in verbal-only research.

'We Are Watching You Too': Reflections on Doing Visual Research in a Contested City

Milena Komarova and Martina McKnight
Sociological Research Online 18 (1) 19

Keywords: Visual Methods, Place-Making, Contested Space, Conflict Management
Abstract: This article focuses on our observations of two contentious Orange Order parades and nationalist protests that took place in an interface area in Belfast, Northern Ireland, in June 2011 and 2012. We apply a perspective of visual ethnography as place-making (Pink 2009) to our research experience in order to add to understandings of how a place of conflict is experienced, (re)produced or challenged through the use of photography and video by marchers, protesters and researchers alike. In doing so, we discuss not only the strengths of visual methods, (how they enable a greater understanding of adversarial perspectives, allow researchers to experience contestation emotionally and compel reflexivity), but also more controversial aspects of their use (the extent to which they limit what researchers notice or omit and legitimate particular versions of conflict). Last, but not least, we suggest that the ubiquitous use of ‘the digital eye’ in the contentious events we observed has a democratising influence over elements in the performance of conflict: challenging the presumed roles of performers and audiences; of researchers and researched; opening contentious events to a wider audience and facilitating the communication of competing narratives.

Picturing Urban Regeneration: A Study of Photographers in Liverpool, UK

Paul Jones
Sociological Research Online 18 (3) 5

Keywords: Photography; Urban Regeneration; Culture; Publics
Abstract: This paper interrogates the practices of professional photographers working on commissions associated with urban regeneration. As distinct from analysis of the images that are an outcome of their labour, little is currently known about the knowledges of photographers working in such contexts. Drawing on research with one firm of photographers in Liverpool, UK, the article focuses on the ways in which these cultural producers describe and make sense of their productions vis-a-vis wider regeneration contexts; particular attention is paid to the ways in which they interpret and translate the criteria surrounding commissions into practice. A general contention concerns the photographers' reflexivity relative to the constraints and affordances they associate with commissioned regeneration work, which sees them operationalising the social visions emanating from clients working in urban policy sector. The article addresses the sets of social practices necessary to secure the conditions for making images in such contested contexts.

Researching the Intangible: A Qualitative Phenomenological Study of the Everyday Practices of Belonging

Julia Bennett
Sociological Research Online 19 (1) 10

Keywords: Belonging, Phenomenology, Photo-Elicitation;, Visual Methods, Diaries, Place
Abstract: How can the intangible aspects of everyday life be uncovered? A phenomenological approach has its origins in the everyday but also allows everything to be questioned. In studying belonging a phenomenological approach supported by a variety of qualitative methods produced a wealth of ‘insider’ information that could have been missed using more traditional methods. The research was based around multi-generational family groups as a family narrative focuses on relations between different family members over the generations rather than on an individual biography. Biographical interviews in family groups allowed families to talk about their lives together. Diaries put the direction of the research in the hands of the participants thus reversing, to some extent, the traditional power relations between researcher and researched. Through written and photo diaries participants shared details of their daily lives which might have been more difficult to elicit in a formal interview situation. The photos allowed the researcher to ‘visit’ places which are a part of the daily life of participants in a subtle and non-intrusive manner. These research approaches privilege the voices of the participants in research into their lives. Through demonstrating the richness of the data collected this article argues that such approaches could be used more widely.

Children’s Engagements with Visual Methods Through Qualitative Research in the Primary School as ‘art That Didn’t Work’

Lexie Scherer
Sociological Research Online 21 (1) 1

Keywords: Visual Methods, Participatory Research, Research with Children, Children, Primary School, the Agentic Child
Abstract: This article considers the implications of using visual methods in research with primary school aged children. The research explored the meanings children made of reading at school. Visual methods, through drawing, were part of the research design. The children resisted drawing in a range of ways, including ripping pages out of books and leaving pages blank, or they used drawing to make meaning of their lives outside the context of the research topic, in particular indicating an adherence to normative gender identities. Through initial analysis these methods were framed as ‘art that didn’t work’. It was only through treating everything as data- thinking about silences and absences, as well as what the children did draw, that it was possible to reposition the data as useful for understanding the impact of drawing as a method. The article argues that whilst in previous research, visual methods are often hailed as straightforwardly positive for working with children: they increase participation, access to research, and promote pupil voice, in this research a far more complex set of power relations emerged around drawing. Findings indicate drawing does not work as a method to enhance children’s participation in the research process. While the paper is methodological in nature, it also contributes to our knowledge of children’s agency, and agency as resistance. The article disrupts assumptions that such methods are ‘’good’’ at providing a mouthpiece for vulnerable groups such as children, to explore their identities.

Doing Audio-Visual Montage to Explore Time and Space: The Everyday Rhythms of Billingsgate Fish Market

Dawn Lyon
Sociological Research Online 21 (3) 12

Keywords: Atmosphere, Embodiment, Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis, Time-Lapse Photography, Work
Abstract: This article documents, shows and analyses the everyday rhythms of Billingsgate, London’s wholesale fish market. It takes the form of a short film based an audio-visual montage of time-lapse photography and sound recordings, and a textual account of the dimensions of market life revealed by this montage. Inspired by Henri Lefebvre’s Rhythmanalysis, and the embodied experience of moving through and sensing the market, the film renders the elusive quality of the market and the work that takes place within it to make it happen. The composite of audio-visual recordings immerses viewers in the space and atmosphere of the market and allows us to perceive and analyse rhythms, patterns, flows, interactions, temporalities and interconnections of market work, themes that this article discusses. The film is thereby both a means of showing market life and an analytic tool for making sense of it. This article critically considers the documentation, evocation and analysis of time and space in this way.