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An Introduction to Visual Analysis. Katy Gregg & Desiree Paulin Seponski QUAL 8420 March 26, 2009. Introduction Background Discussions of Data Medium Children’s Art Art Photographs Film, Movies, Digital Examples A Few Types of Analysis Guided Group Exercise.

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An Introduction to Visual Analysis


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    1. An Introduction to Visual Analysis Katy Gregg & Desiree PaulinSeponski QUAL 8420 March 26, 2009

    2. Introduction • Background • Discussions of Data Medium • Children’s Art • Art • Photographs • Film, Movies, Digital Examples • A Few Types of Analysis • Guided Group Exercise Outline for Today’s Topics

    3. “Visual methods are not purely visual. Rather, they pay particular attention to visual aspects of culture. Similarly, they cannot be used independently of other methods” (Pink, 2005, p. 17). “Promote(s) an analysis of the seen world by suggesting how visual phenomena can serve as an investigative topic in contrast to their more common role as an illustrative resources” (Ball & Smith, 1992, p. 2) Introduction to Visual Analysis

    4. Visual data • can be investigated through a variety of theoretical frameworks • can function in both qualitative and quantitative research • can include a multitude of visual representations including both static (photos, art) and observable actions (films, human interaction); • “stored visual material and the seen world” (Ball & Smith, 1992, p.2) Introduction to Visual Analysis

    5. Based in Visual Sociology and Visual Anthropology • Between 1967-1974, lots of ethnographic films were produced but often considered too subjective and too unsystematic • Fought for its importance as a representation of reality • originated from forms of: content analysis, symbolism, structuralism, cognitive anthropology, ethnomethodology • In anthropology: Collier & Collier are most well known for their photo documentation of America Background of Visual Analysis

    6. What is it used for? • Research assess children’s representational development • Psychotherapy • How is it used? • Assessments • In Research as a: • “mirror into the mind” of children • version of child “self-reported” data over surveys or parental surveys Medium: Children’s Art (Cherney et al., 2006, p. 128)

    7. Why would you use it? • In education, psychology, cognitive development, therapeutic settings, educational counseling • explanation of the rules of children’s drawings (like with language (i.e., Chomsky) and what children are trying to do when they draw (Willats, 2005) • Psychoanalytic (Freud- unconscious thoughts, transference relationship w/ analyst Medium: Children’s Art (Cherney et al., 2006, p. 128)

    8. How is it analyzed • For level of symbolism (failed, generic, specific, realism) and complexity of drawing • baseline for developmental analysis • Seldom on its own… explanations of children, what they do and don’t want to talk about, correlations to other developmental indicators (ex. memory) • In social science research, in collaboration with narrative interviews (ex. Of family life & relationships) (Diem-Wille, 2005) Medium: Children’s Art (Cherney et al., 2006, p. 128)

    9. What is it used for? • Art is what has been created by humans (i.e, “artificial”) • social definitions connect it with the creative rather than just anything completed by a skilled worker • Why would you use it? • Art history • historians “trained… to absorb the work with their eyes, and make out its various elements, values and qualities” (Shirato & Webb, 2004, p. 106) • Historical and cultural anthropology Medium: Art

    10. How is it analyzed? • Using historical information or internally referential as it becomes more abstract starting with its form (how was it produced, its colors, lines, compositional elements, etc). • Examine its content- what is it about, what is it saying (plus intertexts) • Reading the context by taking into account the social and cultural environment in which it was made • Using an “aesthetics” focuses on pleasure, memories or feelings inspired by an art piece or focusing only the formal qualities of a work such as its shape, representation, use of light, etc. • Can also use narrative sort of analysis where a story is created in order to communicate the work of art… again can be intertextual Medium: Art

    11. Medium: Photographs

    12. Medium: Film, Movies, Digital

    13. Visual Content Analysis

    14. DIRECT ANALYSIS • Should begin and end with open-ended processes which should direct focus rather than preconceived notions • Step 1: “Observe the data as a whole”; look for overtones and contrasting patterns. Trust your feelings; write down questions triggered in your mind for further analysis • Step 2: Inventory or log of all your images and design it around “categories that reflect your research goals” • Step 3: “Structure your analysis.” Measure, distance, count, compare; Produce detailed descriptions • Step 4: “Search for meaning significance by returning to the visual record.” Direct and Indirect Analysis Collier, 2005, p.39

    15. INDIRECT ANALYSIS • Using photos, collections of photos, collages or other forms of visual communication to elicit vivid feelings, insights, thoughts, and memories of interview participants Direct and Indirect Analysis

    16. Guided Group Exercise in Visual Analysis