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Visual Research in the Social Sciences: Key elements of a taxonomic and methodological framework
Unformatted Document Text:  7 during and after the recording session may also prove to be an important factor. In some cases interaction may be desirable, while in others keeping a distance will be preferable to obtain valid information. 4.4. The provision of internal and external contexts Equally important is that the researcher makes every effort to situate the subject of research in its broader context, both visually and verbally. First of all significant contextual information should, whenever possible, be part of the visual product itself. Hence the ethnographers preference for wide-angle lenses, although the issue is far more complex than that). To some extent ’part to whole’ relationships are automatically provided by the camera (we see for instance an artefact pictured in its context of use, or moving images of an event as it chronologically unfolds itself) but in general providing image-internal contexts requires a very active and careful effort on the part of the researcher. Secondly the relative meaning of the visual product (which may or may not contain verbal types of information) will also need to be related to, and confronted with, information obtained through other sources and techniques. Complex visual productions usually require an extensive verbal documentation addressing the methodology that was followed, the choices that were made (technical, ethical etc.) and the problems and uncertainties that have been encountered from concept to end result. Also some additional information should be provided about the broader context (cultural, historical) in which the visual product should be considered.

Authors: Pauwels, Luc.
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during and after the recording session may also prove to be an important factor. In some cases
interaction may be desirable, while in others keeping a distance will be preferable to obtain valid
information.
4.4. The provision of internal and external contexts
Equally important is that the researcher makes every effort to situate the subject of research in
its broader context, both visually and verbally.
First of all significant contextual information should, whenever possible, be part of the visual
product itself. Hence the ethnographers preference for wide-angle lenses, although the issue is
far more complex than that). To some extent ’part to whole’ relationships are automatically
provided by the camera (we see for instance an artefact pictured in its context of use, or moving
images of an event as it chronologically unfolds itself) but in general providing image-internal
contexts requires a very active and careful effort on the part of the researcher.
Secondly the relative meaning of the visual product (which may or may not contain verbal types
of information) will also need to be related to, and confronted with, information obtained through
other sources and techniques. Complex visual productions usually require an extensive verbal
documentation addressing the methodology that was followed, the choices that were made
(technical, ethical etc.) and the problems and uncertainties that have been encountered from
concept to end result. Also some additional information should be provided about the broader
context (cultural, historical) in which the visual product should be considered.


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