Experiments in Visual Analysis: (Re)positionings of children and youth in relation to Larger Sociocultural Issues
MetadataShow full item record
One of the most distinctive features of the 21st Century is the dominance of the visual and its relationship to multiple modalities of communication. Human experience is more visual and visualized than ever before (Mirzoeff, 1999). Visual communication is becoming less the domain of specialists, and more and more crucial in the domains of public communication (Kress & van Leeuwen, 1996), particularly as dominant modes of communication shift from page to screen (Snyder, 1997). Generating information about children’s and youth’s knowledge, and perceptions of their own lives and learning typically involves language-based modes, which may not build access to the multiple layers and complexities of their knowing. Visual representations have been utilized by researchers in various fields such as psychology and anthropology to learn more about participants’ constructions of their worlds (e.g., Adler, 1982; Diem-Wille, 2001; Koppitz, 1984). Siegel and Panofsky argue literacy studies have taken a semiotic turn: “the unsettled status of the field appears to be a productive moment of experimentation, invention, and problem-posing as researchers design analytic approaches that draw on a range of theoretical frameworks relevant to their research interests, purposes, and questions... analyzing multimodality requires a hybrid approach—a blend or ‘mash-up’ of theories” (2009, p. 99). Similarly, Pahl and Rowsell assert that, in accessing the underlying meanings of multimodal practices, “we need not only to account for the materiality of the texts, that is, the way they look, sound, and feel, but also have an understanding of who made the text, why, where, and when” (2006, p. 2).