Interdisciplinary Challenges in visual methodology: understanding data production and ‘interpetive act’

Matthew Hawkins, M. Rabikowska, I. Dyck, I. Ortega-Alcazar

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Issues of interpretation and representation are well-rehearsed in disciplines across the arts, humanities and social sciences. Visual methodologists in particular have debated the discrepancy between the real and the symbolic in the processes of production of meaning (Collier & Collier 1986; Crawford & Turton 1992; Marshall 1992; Doug 1994; Evans & Smith 2000; Banks 2001; Heisley 2001; Rose 2001). Recently, the focus of attention and also contention among scholars has been on the use of digital cameras and the ontological, ethical, and aesthetic conditions, which such equipment produces in a social-scientific research paradigm (Emmison & Smith 2000; Pink 2001; Heider, 2006; Pauwels 2002; Mitchell 2011; Reavey 2011, Ingold 2005, Schneider & Pasqualino. 2014). The intent of this paper is to add to this recent debate, through a focus on the practice of interpretation of reality and representation within different disciplines. We will explore the problem of creating and collecting data within three disciplines: the social sciences, cultural studies and film, simultaneously engaged in the visual research project, in which we applied filmmaking and photoelicitation as major methods.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
VolumeIn press
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This paper has been accepted for publication in Journal of Contemporary Ethnography by Sage


  • visual ethnography
  • interdiciplinarity
  • filmmaking
  • interpretation

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