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The case for creative, visual and multimodal methods in operationalising concepts in research design: an examination of storyboarding trust stories

The case for creative, visual and multimodal methods in operationalising concepts in research design: an examination of storyboarding trust stories
The case for creative, visual and multimodal methods in operationalising concepts in research design: an examination of storyboarding trust stories
Creative, visual and multimodal research methods are commonly employed by sociologists in the ‘outward-facing’ activities of data collection, presentation, and dissemination of research findings; however, they are rarely applied to the ‘inward-facing’ research practices of conceptualisation and research design. Responding to Pierre Bourdieu's calls for methodological pluralism in sociology and for the construction of the object to be rigorously undertaken in every moment of research (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992), I explore how such methods can be used by the researcher as effective thinking tools to enhance the creativity and quality of conceptual work as a precursor to empirical investigation. I investigate the affordances of this approach using a creative research method – storyboarding – to examine trust. Although empirical research commonly cites trust as an explanatory factor, its meaning is ambiguous and contested. Based on three imagined trust dilemmas developed with the involvement of a visual artist, I demonstrate how a visual creative process can encourage consistent attention to the construction of the research object. It also speculatively reveals new facets of phenomena and supports reflexive attention to the researcher’s relation to the object of research. I argue for sociological thinking to engage an eclectic range of visual and creative forms as legitimate tools capable of extending rigour and creativity.
Pierre Bourdieu, methodological pluralism, storyboards, trust, visual and multimodal methods
0038-0261
1229-1249
Ayrton, Rachel
3d3e7f99-19f3-4c45-9abd-38ed52f67ae9
Ayrton, Rachel
3d3e7f99-19f3-4c45-9abd-38ed52f67ae9

Ayrton, Rachel (2020) The case for creative, visual and multimodal methods in operationalising concepts in research design: an examination of storyboarding trust stories. The Sociological Review, 68 (6), 1229-1249. (doi:10.1177/0038026120903918).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Creative, visual and multimodal research methods are commonly employed by sociologists in the ‘outward-facing’ activities of data collection, presentation, and dissemination of research findings; however, they are rarely applied to the ‘inward-facing’ research practices of conceptualisation and research design. Responding to Pierre Bourdieu's calls for methodological pluralism in sociology and for the construction of the object to be rigorously undertaken in every moment of research (Bourdieu & Wacquant, 1992), I explore how such methods can be used by the researcher as effective thinking tools to enhance the creativity and quality of conceptual work as a precursor to empirical investigation. I investigate the affordances of this approach using a creative research method – storyboarding – to examine trust. Although empirical research commonly cites trust as an explanatory factor, its meaning is ambiguous and contested. Based on three imagined trust dilemmas developed with the involvement of a visual artist, I demonstrate how a visual creative process can encourage consistent attention to the construction of the research object. It also speculatively reveals new facets of phenomena and supports reflexive attention to the researcher’s relation to the object of research. I argue for sociological thinking to engage an eclectic range of visual and creative forms as legitimate tools capable of extending rigour and creativity.

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Accepted/In Press date: 17 December 2019
e-pub ahead of print date: 11 March 2020
Published date: 1 November 2020
Additional Information: Funding Information: This work was supported jointly by the Economic and Social Research Council’s National Centre for Research Methods and South Coast Doctoral Training Partnership (award ref. 1096417). Publisher Copyright: © The Author(s) 2020.
Keywords: Pierre Bourdieu, methodological pluralism, storyboards, trust, visual and multimodal methods

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 437457
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/437457
ISSN: 0038-0261
PURE UUID: c67a5fee-6461-4c10-a1cd-9d24e37ee2bd
ORCID for Rachel Ayrton: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0001-7907-689X

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Date deposited: 30 Jan 2020 17:43
Last modified: 31 Aug 2022 04:01

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