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Doing Visual Research

Doing Visual Research

May 2011 | 232 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Doing Visual Research offers an innovative introduction to the use of photography, collaborative video, drawing, objects, multi-media production and installation in research. Claudia Mitchell explains how visual methods can be used as modes of inquiry as well as modes of representation for social research.

The book looks at a range of conceptual and practical approaches to a range of tools and methods, while also highlighting the interpretive and ethical issues that arise when engaging in visual research. She draws on her own work in the field of visual research throughout to offer extensive examples from a variety of settings and with a variety of populations. Topics covered include:

  • Photographs and memory work studies
  • Drawing as a participatory visual methodology
  • Working with images/Writing about images
  • Can visual methods make a difference? From practice to policy

Doing Visual Research takes an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of visual research, producing a practical introduction to the subject that will be of great use to students and researchers across the social sciences, and in particular in education, communication, sociology, gender, development, social work and public health.

Getting the Picture

On a Pedagogy of Ethics in Visual Research
Who's in the Picture?

Not Just an Object
Working with Things, Objects and Artefacts in Visual Research

Seeing for Ourselves
A Case for Community-Based Photography

Community-Based Video-Making
Working with Photo Images
A Textual Reading on the Presence of Absence

Data Collections and Building a Democratic Archive
'No More Pictures without a Context' (with Naydene de Lange)

Look and See
Images of Image-Making

What Can a Visual Researcher Do with a Camera?
Changing the Picture
How Can Images Influence Policy-Making?


Doing Visual Research offers an excellent starting point for imagining how visual methods might be fruitfully employed.

Roman R. Williams
Calvin College
Sociology of Religion

Excellent book - very clearly laid out

Mrs denise Burke Mac Giolla Ri
Humanities , AIT Athlone Institute of Technology
March 14, 2016

This is an exceptionally useful book and I would I would consider it core for a research methods course. For my particular course, I intend to recommend it to those students who adopt a visual research approach to their data generation.
The book is highly accessible and the inclusion of visual methods in research is demystified. As well as being a 'how to' publication, the author offers rich examples from her own practice which help to vivify the text.

Ms Annie O Breachain
Education , Marino Institute of Education
June 28, 2015

Useful and interesting to read

Dr Pamela Woolner
Education, Newcastle University
March 12, 2015

Excellent introduction to visual research methods

Dr Jung Woo Lee
Institute of Sport, Physical Education and Health, Edinburgh University
September 3, 2015

very good book which learners are able to use for research to complete their essays and assignments whist studying for the course

Mr Brendon Pettit
creative studies, Great Yarmouth College
December 17, 2014

Just wasn't the right match for the course. I preferred the visual methodologies text.

Dr Mary Hess
Leadership Division, Luther Seminary
May 30, 2013

Book to advanced for my class, but it is an excellent Text! Should I teach a visual comm methods course, I will definitely use this text!

Dr Amber Johnson
Languages Communications Dept, Prairie View A & M University
May 3, 2013

Unsure whether this book is appropriate for the type of research our students do. Have not had time to review it fully.

Dr Lisa Carvallo
Online Teaching Dept, Morgan State University
March 31, 2013

This is an excellent guide to the topic

Professor Roger Penn
Department of Sociology, Lancaster University
March 12, 2013

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Claudia Mitchell

Claudia Mitchell is a James McGill Professor in the Faculty of Education, McGill University where she is the Director of the McGill Institute for Human Development and Well-being and the founder and Director of the Participatory Cultures Lab. She is  an Honorary Professor in the School of Education, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. She was the 2016 recipient of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council Gold Medal awarded for the impact of her research which  cuts across a number of areas including girlhood studies, youth, sexuality, and HIV and AIDS, gender violence, and teacher identity, and in a number of... More About Author

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