Visual communication shapes our perceptions and experiences of the world. This is not only a question of photographs or video, but also the design of websites, the use of data visualization software, the branding of packaging, and even the design of buildings and furniture. Doing Visual Analysis: From Theory to Practices provides a concrete set of tools to research and analyse this wide range of visual data. Showing students how to apply the right mix of methods to their own research projects, it equips them with the skills to break down and analyse the range of contemporary visual communication. The book: • Provides examples of how and where certain tools can be used in a project or dissertation • Discusses the type of research questions best suited to different tools and methods • Shows students how to mix approaches and use tools alongside other methods, such as content analysis or interviews Doing Visual Analysis is an essential companion for students and researchers of visual data across the social sciences.
In this chapter we are interested in the way that data and information are presented. In contemporary media we tend to find more and more numbers, statistics, graphics and classifications of things. This, of course, is now very easy to do with software for analysis and data and information presentation. But we can also relate this increase to wider cultural and political changes that we discussed in Chapter 2. There has been an increasing ‘technologization’ of semiotic resources (Fairclough, 1992) which accelerated sometime in the mid- to late 2000s. Language and other semiotic resources become more codified in order to have greater control over communication. This has been harnessed by certain threads of political thinking where all parts of life must ...