Seeing is Believing? Approaches to Visual Research

ISBN: 978-0-76231-021-0, eISBN: 978-1-84950-211-5

ISSN: 1042-3192

Publication date: 30 December 2004


Visual ethnographic methods are increasingly popular in social science research. Much has been published on their design and use (e.g. Banks, 2001; Pink, 2001; van Leeuwen & Jewitt, 2001). Yet little has been written on using video in in-depth interviews, or how such video-interviews might differ from tape-recorded interviews. In this chapter I discuss the video interview, as developed in my research about gender in the sensory home,1 to reflect on the nature of the ethnographic knowledge about everyday life and experience this method produces. I focus particularly on informants’ uses of narrative as a vehicle for self-representation that reveals and conceals. Video invites informants to produce narratives that interweave visual and verbal representation. In doing so they reference familiar everyday narratives and practices that are in part visual. Here I discuss how three narratives – which I shall call the “Hello magazine,” “estate agent” and “self-analysis” narratives – were developed in an audiovisual research context.2


Pink, S. (2004), "PERFORMANCE, SELF-REPRESENTATION AND NARRATIVE: INTERVIEWING WITH VIDEO", Pole, C. (Ed.) Seeing is Believing? Approaches to Visual Research (Studies in Qualitative Methodology, Vol. 7), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 61-77.

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