The second, thoroughly revised and expanded, edition of The SAGE Handbook of Visual Research Methods presents a wide-ranging exploration and overview of the field today. As in its first edition, the Handbook does not aim to present a consistent view or voice, but rather to exemplify diversity and contradictions in perspectives and techniques. The selection of chapters from the first edition have been fully updated to reflect current developments. New chapters to the second edition cover key topics including picture-sorting techniques, creative methods using artefacts, visual framing analysis, therapeutic uses of images, and various emerging digital technologies and online practices. At the core of all contributions are theoretical and methodological debates about the meanings and study of the visual, presented in vibrant accounts of research design, analytical techniques, fieldwork encounters and data presentation. This handbook presents a unique survey of the discipline that will be essential reading for scholars and students across the social and behavioural sciences, arts and humanities, and far beyond these disciplinary boundaries. The Handbook is organized into seven main sections: PART 1: FRAMING THE FIELD OF VISUAL RESEARCH; PART 2: VISUAL AND SPATIAL DATA PRODUCTION METHODS AND TECHNOLOGIES; PART 3: PARTICIPATORY AND SUBJECT-CENTERED APPROACHES; PART 4: ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORKS AND PERSPECTIVES; PART 5: MULTIMODAL AND MULTISENSORIAL RESEARCH; PART 6: RESEARCHING ONLINE PRACTICES; and PART 7: COMMUNICATING THE VISUAL: FORMATS AND CONCERNS.

Chapter 4: Visual Studies and Empirical Social Inquiry

Visual Studies and Empirical Social Inquiry

Visual studies and empirical social inquiry
Jon Wagner

Introduction

Framing visual studies as empirical social inquiry is not a simple matter. Only some visual study approaches support empirical inquiry, and only some of those focus on culture and social life. Beyond that, to ask where these fit together is to pose three questions in one. There's the ideological or moral query about where visual studies should fit with social scientific inquiry, the analytical query of where such studies could fit, and the empirical query of where they appear to fit. It's the last question I want to explore here, for what it implies about visual studies and, by extension, other forms of empirical social inquiry.

The practice ...

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