Using Digital Photography and Video in Participant Observation of Contentious Events

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    Abstract

    In this article, we discuss our experiences of using photography and video while observing contentious parades and protests in Belfast. We show how our use of these methods drew us into a series of unplanned for non-verbal interactions with other event participants who were also freely and abundantly using photographic and filming equipment to capture their own images. This interactive use of photography and video affected us emotionally and influenced what we noticed and what we omitted in our observations. In particular, it forced us to reflect upon and question our role as researchers in the events we observed and in the changing balance of power between researchers and researched.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalSage Research Methods Cases
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2014

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    photography
    participant observation
    video
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    balance of power
    protest
    interaction
    experience

    Cite this

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    title = "Using Digital Photography and Video in Participant Observation of Contentious Events",
    abstract = "In this article, we discuss our experiences of using photography and video while observing contentious parades and protests in Belfast. We show how our use of these methods drew us into a series of unplanned for non-verbal interactions with other event participants who were also freely and abundantly using photographic and filming equipment to capture their own images. This interactive use of photography and video affected us emotionally and influenced what we noticed and what we omitted in our observations. In particular, it forced us to reflect upon and question our role as researchers in the events we observed and in the changing balance of power between researchers and researched.",
    author = "Milena Komarova and Martina McKnight",
    year = "2014",
    doi = "10.4135/978144627305013500011",
    language = "English",
    journal = "Sage Research Methods Cases",

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    AB - In this article, we discuss our experiences of using photography and video while observing contentious parades and protests in Belfast. We show how our use of these methods drew us into a series of unplanned for non-verbal interactions with other event participants who were also freely and abundantly using photographic and filming equipment to capture their own images. This interactive use of photography and video affected us emotionally and influenced what we noticed and what we omitted in our observations. In particular, it forced us to reflect upon and question our role as researchers in the events we observed and in the changing balance of power between researchers and researched.

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