Looking and seeing: developing creative visual methodologies in social science research

9 Mar 2020
Professor Janice Haaken and Professor Meta Newhouse

The first seminar in the ISS21 Creative Social Science Research Methods Seminar series 2020 was held on 9 March, with two papers exploring the use of visual methodologies.

Janice Haaken, Professor of Psychology, Portland State University, US, and Fulbright Scholar at Dept. of Sociology & Criminology, opened the seminar with a paper on research ethics in vidoegraphic methods. The presentation explored ethical dilemmas through examples drawn from Professor Haaken's own documentary film making work. The challenge of how to pull back the curtain on highly mystified subjects (in this instance abortion care) without sensationalising them, and the practicalities of obtaining consent from audience members while filming in a 'drag' club were some of the topics covered in the presentation and Q&As. Professor Haaken also considered the ethical issues which arose when filming therapists in the army who are charged with two apparently conflicting missions: helping soldiers to recover from trauma and returning these soldiers to action.

Meta Newhouse, Professor of Graphic Design at Montana State University, spoke about workshops she is conducting with staff and students in UCC to explore the potential of guerrilla advertising techniques in communicating and disseminating research to different audiences beyond the academy. The talk provided rich examples of the ways in which visual representations can be used to draw people into research, both as audiences of, but also as participants in, different kinds of research. Discussion centred around some of the practical but also ethical issues bound up in using these techniques in the context of social science research. Presentations showcasing the students’ work will take place on Wednesday 1st April in the Creative Zone, Boole Library.

Institute for Social Science in the 21st Century (ISS21)

Top Floor, Carrigbawn/Safari Building, Donovan Road, Cork, T12 YE30