As Chris Jenks (1995: 12) states “Method... is not the servant of theory: method actually grounds theory. To speak/write depict the world as a coherent form is to formulate the world in line with an active method vision”.
For the researcher of the visual, whether as the substantive topic, eg: gender depiction in protest posters of the 1960’s, or as part of a larger phenomenon, eg: racial segregation in the Middle East, coherent visual methods are now a disciplinary requirement of a reflexively aware methodology investigating visual phenomena.
Over recent years Visual Studies and Visual Sociology within the Social Sciences have become major interest areas and have gained increasing prominence. What can be said in common to these studies is an approach to visual methods which is largely non-prescriptive and indeed encouraging of diversity, invention, new technology, ‘engagement’ with and involvement by subjects – indeed, ‘non-disciplinary’ in its true sense.
The photograph is often still central as a medium of capture and presentation, but in the digital age is free from its celluloid and paper-based restrictions, cost and technical knowledge for capture. The physical objects of the visual and their tactility are increasing utilised, and the internet web-based digital and computer phenomena are continually ahead of developing visual methodologies. Good text books do exist on visual methodology, but they are continually restricted by the characteristic described above. Visual research is continuously expanding in scope and developing methodologies to facilitate our understanding and analysis. Jenks, Chris (1995) Visual Culture. London: Routledge
Other research themes within this research group include:
People working in this thematic area include: