What is your research approach?

Kathleen Manning, Frances K. Stage

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter introduces a range of visual research methods to the higher education research community, emphasizing the practices that have immediate applicability to the field. Higher education’s reliance on traditional, non-visual research practices may limit our understanding of the contemporary academic environment, marked as it is by multimedia and visually enhanced prestige-seeking behaviors. Visual analysis in the social sciences is in many ways beholden to the tradition of cultural ethnography from anthropology. Visual sociology drew inspiration from the early photojournalism and street-level activism of Jacob Riis, a nineteenth century photographer. Data analysis, the stage of the research process after data collection, is often overlooked in the research design phase and can be passed over too quickly in the process of conducting qualitative research. Attention to archival analysis as well as visual analysis provides opportunities for critical reflection on curatorial framing, changes in social discourse over time, and the relationship of historiography to our understanding of higher education phenomenan.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationResearch in the College Context
Subtitle of host publicationApproaches and Methods
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages26
ISBN (Electronic)9781317580102
ISBN (Print)9781138824768
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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