Visual Methods in the Social Sciences: Refugee Background Young People

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Title Visual Methods in the Social Sciences: Refugee Background Young People
Author Matthews, Julie; Singh, Parlo
Journal Name The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
Year Published 2009
Place of publication Australia
Publisher Common Ground
Abstract This article discusses visual research methods trialled with young African background refugees. We suggest here that visual methods offer a useful means of accessing the lives of minority young people, because they resonate with the visually mediated culture they are already familiar with and do not rely entirely on linguistic capacity. Visual methods are thus generative and able to secure participant interest and commitment amongst a group who may not be comfortable with traditional interview or focus group methods. The article observes that visual methods have until recently been neglected in the social sciences, and when they are applied it is often with the intention of undertaking semiotic or discourse analysis. Although the project discussed in this article was initiated with the intention of pursuing this analytic direction, we found that other rewards were to be gained from using visual methods. We discuss the project's unanticipated research directions and its ethical challenges. The article closes by arguing that the reluctance of social science researchers to use visual methods are as much related to the historical development of qualitative research and the efforts of the social sciences to align themselves with empiricism and science, as with the specific limits and challenges of the approach.
Peer Reviewed Yes
Published Yes
Publisher URI
Copyright Statement Copyright remains with the authors 2009. The attached file is reproduced here in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. For information about this journal please refer to the journal's website or contact the authors.
Volume 4
Issue Number 10
Page from 59
Page to 70
ISSN 1833-1882
Date Accessioned 2010-03-04
Language en_AU
Research Centre Griffith Institute for Educational Research
Faculty Faculty of Education
Subject LOTE, ESL and TESOL Curriculum and Pedagogy (excl Maori)
Publication Type Journal Articles (Refereed Article)
Publication Type Code c1

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