Confronting the Visual in Qualitative Inquiry
We confront visual images just as they confront us in our everyday lives. Traditional approaches to qualitative data, analysis, and re/presentation have a tendency to prioritize the written—a transcription of verbal interviews into written text, using textual coding to analyze written documents, and the outcomes of such research taking the form of articles that conform to word counts. Further, even poststructural orientations have been critiqued for their logo-centric tendencies. What happens when we move beyond the confines of tradition? When we (also) turn to the visual to productively disrupt normalizing ways of knowing/thinking/doing? This presentation explores practices of visual confrontation and their implications for qualitative inquiry. Zigzagging through the ways in which the visual confronts, resists, inspires, maps, and communicates, I posit that attending to the visual, even alongside the written, offers possibilities in our inquiries for complex encounters with a constantly shifting socio-political and ethical landscape.