ANALYZING VISUAL MEDIA
© LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE
MANION & KEITH MORRISON
STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER
• Content analysis
• Discourse analysis
• Grounded theory
• Interpreting images
• Interpreting an...
VISUAL MEDIA
• Visual media are a form of text or discourse.
• Visual media can use the same analytical
tools that are ava...
CONTENT ANALYSIS
• Start with research questions that determine
which images will be used in the analysis
(sampling)
• Ret...
CONTENT ANALYSIS
• Content analysis is more concerned with the
contents of the image rather than its
production or audienc...
CONTENT ANALYSIS
Content analysis:
• does not discriminate between weaker and
stronger instances of the code;
• loses impo...
DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
• A discourse is a group of statements which
structure how we think about things and how
we act on the ...
DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
• Review the image on the basis of the
structured approach of content analysis.
• Discover key themes o...
DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
• Consider the purpose of the image and its
effects (intended or not) on the audience
(intended or not)...
MOVING IMAGES
Investigate:
• The kinds of films that come out of film
companies and studios.
• The kinds of programmes tha...
GROUNDED THEORY
• Induction
• Open coding
• Axial coding
• Selective coding
• Categorizing
• Theoretical sampling
• Consta...
ACTORS IN VISUAL DATA
Who are the actors/who is speaking in the text?
• The people who have been filmed
• The producers of...
ANALYZING IMAGES
• Start by looking at the whole.
• Look at the overall ‘global impressions’ and
picture.
• Then move to m...
INTEPRETING IMAGES
• Reflexivity is central.
• Why, when, where, by whom, for whom, how
is/was the image made?
• Who is/wa...
INTEPRETING IMAGES
• What is the image about, and what/whom does
the image show?
• What are the features of the image (e.g...
INTEPRETING IMAGES
• From where was the image taken?
• What do the different elements of the image
signify, and how do we ...
INTEPRETING IMAGES
• What and whose knowledge is included in or
excluded from the image?
• Who is empowered/disempowered i...
INTEPRETING IMAGES
• Is there a written commentary on the image,
and, if so, what does it contain?
• What is the intended ...
ANALYZING MOVING IMAGES
• Interrogate the moving images in light of the
research questions
• Undertake a more valuative an...
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Chapter32

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Research Methods in Education 6th Edition

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Chapter32

  1. 1. ANALYZING VISUAL MEDIA © LOUIS COHEN, LAWRENCE MANION & KEITH MORRISON
  2. 2. STRUCTURE OF THE CHAPTER • Content analysis • Discourse analysis • Grounded theory • Interpreting images • Interpreting an image: an example • Analyzing moving images
  3. 3. VISUAL MEDIA • Visual media are a form of text or discourse. • Visual media can use the same analytical tools that are available to quantitative and qualitative data e.g.: • Content analysis (numerical and qualitative) • Discourse analysis • Grounded theory
  4. 4. CONTENT ANALYSIS • Start with research questions that determine which images will be used in the analysis (sampling) • Retrieve the appropriate images • Devise a coding system and codes • Code the images according to the codes • Count codes and their frequencies • Reflect on what the coding and the frequencies have indicated.
  5. 5. CONTENT ANALYSIS • Content analysis is more concerned with the contents of the image rather than its production or audiencing; hence it may not be able to comment on the cultural significance of the images made or caught. • The whole is more than the sum of the parts. • Coding risks losing wholeness, as it is atomistic and fragmentizing.
  6. 6. CONTENT ANALYSIS Content analysis: • does not discriminate between weaker and stronger instances of the code; • loses important interconnections between elements of an image; • misses the mood that an image might be trying to create; • overlooks the point that different people view images in different ways and with different interpretations; • overlooks an ideology-critical way of viewing an image.
  7. 7. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS • A discourse is a group of statements which structure how we think about things and how we act on the basis of those thoughts. • Images can be ‘read’ for the meanings that they convey to, or elicit from, the viewer. • Discourses structure and define what is valuable knowledge, how to know and how to think, and are instruments and effects of power. • Discourses are saturated by power. • In understanding images we have to engage in an analysis, and critique, of power, how it
  8. 8. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS • Review the image on the basis of the structured approach of content analysis. • Discover key themes or features. • Identify interesting features or messages. • Look for contradictions, discontinuities or complex issues in the image. • Look at what the image has omitted (deliberately or not).
  9. 9. DISCOURSE ANALYSIS • Consider the purpose of the image and its effects (intended or not) on the audience (intended or not). • Consider the production (who, why, where, how, when, and audience of the image. • Look at where the image is kept, stored, displayed, labelled, indexed, catalogued, archived.
  10. 10. MOVING IMAGES Investigate: • The kinds of films that come out of film companies and studios. • The kinds of programmes that television channels put out, for whom and in what format. • Which audiences watch which films or which programmes. • Which people go to see which images and where.
  11. 11. GROUNDED THEORY • Induction • Open coding • Axial coding • Selective coding • Categorizing • Theoretical sampling • Constant comparison • Memoing • Generation of core categories • Theoretical saturation • Generation of theory
  12. 12. ACTORS IN VISUAL DATA Who are the actors/who is speaking in the text? • The people who have been filmed • The producers of the final image • The camera operator • The journalist in the film • The chief editor • The television presenter • Eyewitnesses or other people in the film • The film editor • Others
  13. 13. ANALYZING IMAGES • Start by looking at the whole. • Look at the overall ‘global impressions’ and picture. • Then move to more detailed analysis and coding, i.e. with the overall picture in mind. • Keep sight of the interconnections and interrelationships between different parts of the text.
  14. 14. INTEPRETING IMAGES • Reflexivity is central. • Why, when, where, by whom, for whom, how is/was the image made? • Who is/was/are/were the originally intended audiences of the image? • How is/was the image displayed? • What do we know about the maker, the owner(s) and the people (if any) on the image? • What were the relations (if any) between the producer, the subjects and the owner(s) of the image?
  15. 15. INTEPRETING IMAGES • What is the image about, and what/whom does the image show? • What are the features of the image (e.g. compositional, genre, style, colour, elements, structure, format, arrangement, symmetry etc.)? • What is the medium of the image? • What are the striking features of the image? • Is the image ‘stand-alone’, is it part of a set or series, is it part of a collection? • Should the image be seen on its own or in the context of a set or series?
  16. 16. INTEPRETING IMAGES • From where was the image taken? • What do the different elements of the image signify, and how do we know? • What interpretations can be made of the image? • Do the interpretations made of the image accord with the intentions of the producer of the image (do we know of the original intentions)? • What different interpretations of the image are made by different audiences (and from different backgrounds, e.g. related to ethnicity, age group, sex, sexuality, social class, income groups, geographical location, etc.).
  17. 17. INTEPRETING IMAGES • What and whose knowledge is included in or excluded from the image? • Who is empowered/disempowered in or by the image? • What contradictions, if any, exist within the image? • Where is the image kept/stored/displayed? • Who has/had access to the image? • How can/could the image be viewed? • How is the image described, labelled, indexed, catalogued, archived?
  18. 18. INTEPRETING IMAGES • Is there a written commentary on the image, and, if so, what does it contain? • What is the intended and actual relation between the image and those who view it?
  19. 19. ANALYZING MOVING IMAGES • Interrogate the moving images in light of the research questions • Undertake a more valuative and ideology-critical reading of their content • Select, and justify the selection of, particular parts of the moving images • What is happening in the story? • Read a film for its ideological content and effects • Start with an overall view of the film as a whole, noting themes, impressions, key points (i.e. as one would ‘read’ a text) • Then perform a micro-analysis of the material

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