Visual Images as Data Within Qualitative Research

The term visual images encompass a variety of artifacts that can be used as data within various qualitative research methodologies. Visual images fall into numerous typologies and either the researcher or the participants in a research study can create the images. Images can also be found, that is, they exist as images not created by the researcher or participants. Visual images can be categorized as still (e.g., digital or film photographs, paintings, graphic design illustrations, advertisements) or moving images (e.g., cinematic films, television shows, or home movies).

This entry considers why social (and even humanities) researchers use visual images as data in their studies concerning the human condition. Furthermore, images are never transparent or neutral in content; therefore, consideration is given to how ...

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