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Participatory Visual Methodologies

Participatory Visual Methodologies
Social Change, Community and Policy

First Edition

September 2017 | 248 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

This book demonstrates how data from participatory visual methods can take people and communities beyond ideological engagement, initiating new conversations and changing perspectives, policy debates, and policy development. These methods include, for example, photo-voice, participatory video, drawing/mapping, and digital storytelling.

Organised around a series of tools that have been used across health, education, environmental, and sociological research, Participatory Visual Methodologies illustrates how to maintain participant engagement in decision-making, navigate critical issues around ethics, track policies, and maximize the potential of longitudinal studies. Tools discussed include:

  • Pedagogical screenings
  • Digital dialogue devices
  • Upcycling and ‘speaking back’ interventions
  • Participant-led policy briefs

An authoritative and accessible guide to how participatory visual methods and arts-based methods can influence social change, this book will help any postgraduate researcher looking to contribute to policy dialogue.

Chapter 1: Introduction: A Framework for Social Change through Participatory Visual Research

Policy, Policy, Policy

Community and Policy Dialogue

Critical Audience Engagement

Overview of the Book

Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 2: Project Design: Beginning with the End in Mind

Research Design for Social Change

Participatory Visual Methods

A Case Study: Addressing Campus-based Sexual Violence


Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 3: Speaking Back as Method

Defining Speaking Back

On Using Speaking Back as Method

Features of Speaking Back as Method


Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 4: Pictures at an Exhibition

Community-Based Exhibitions

Processes in Curating

Studying Exhibiting

One Set of Photos, Multiple Showings

Method: Studying Audience Engagement

Studying Audiences through Exhibiting

Exhibition Catalogues

Creating an Exhibition Catalogue

Drawings: Collections and Catalogues


Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 5: The Pedagogy of Screenings

Why a Pedagogy of Screenings?

Methodologies for Screening

Researchers Screening their Own Productions

Researchers Screening Videos Made by Participants

Participants Screening their Own Work

Online Platforms and Screening



Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 6: Digital Artefacts: Researcher-Led Tools for Dialogue

Research-Produced Digital Artefacts: A Brief History

Research-Produced Digital Dialogue Tools: Three Cases

A Co-Production: Researchers and Teachers Working Together on a ‘Re-mix’ Video

Digital Artefacts: Issues to Consider

Researcher Reflexivity/Discussion


Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 7: Engaging Policy Makers

Participant-led Tools for Engaging Policy makers

Taking Research to Policymakers

Using Participatory Video to Engage Policy Makers

Studying Pathways to Impact


Key Points of the Chapter

Chapter 8: What Difference Does This Make?

Theories of Change

Tracking Change

Interpretive and Ethnographic Approaches


Key Points of the Chapter


This powerful book brings together rich insights from participatory visual studies, reflexivity, and audience studies--a must for anyone wishing to engage in meaningful participatory research.

Lindsey McCarthy
Centre for Regional and Economic Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University

A vital resource for researchers and practitioners working across disciplines. This book is simultaneously a valuable synthesis of existing knowledge in the area and an important building block for the continued development of this field of inquiry.

Ioana Literat
Communication, Media and Learning Technologies Design, Columbia University

The book presents an invaluable resource for researchers using visual methods. It expands the field of participatory visual methods by providing a critical and rich perspective on its potential to impact policy-making processes. With over a decade of experience of working together in this field the authors are uniquely placed to make this contribution, as they critically engage in issues of power, ethics and representation.

Verena Thomas
School of Design, Queensland University of Technology

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ISBN: 9781473947313
ISBN: 9781473947306

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