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Only Short Cuts?: Visual Ethnography and Images in a project on mens hairstyles
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Education, Department of Education.
2007 (English)Conference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Visual Culture has opened for new kinds of analyses and new interesting ways of doing and presenting research. Photos and videotaping have made research possible in situations, which by their fluidity earlier have been problematic to describe and analyse with ethnographic field notes. In this presentation, which takes its theoretical point of departure in poststructuralism, Discourse Theory and Visual Cultural an ethnographic research project on fashion, consumption, hairdressing and male hairstyles in four countries, Sweden, Latvia, Estonia and Turkey based on a visual material is critical discussed. In the study a material consisting of digital short cuts of customers hairstyles and of the hairdressers work, the techniques and products used are brought together with a Visual Culture analyse of the images constructed in photos presented in Hairstyle Magazines and Mens Magazines in the same countries. The digital camera have also been used for a short cuts-documentation of hairstyles worn in public places and for documenting how men, masculinity, femininity and mens hairstyles is visually presented in Hair Fashion Shows. The result of the analyse, highlighting how categories as masculinity, femininity and social orders as class, ethnicity, nationality, age and sexuality are materialised and visualised, has been presented and exemplified in both articles and at conferences by showing a selection of photos and media representations from the analysed material. Although the method and the combination of digital photos and visual material from the magazines have been fruitful in many ways, some problems have caught my attention, which I want to discuss in the paper. What images are for example produced and stabilised and by the researchers selection of photos and media representations when the result is reported? The researchers framing, selections and exclusions of what is documented with the camera shots and in what way the researchers theoretical presumptions structures the selection of the photos and images and reduce the analyse and presentation of the results is seldom explicitly discussed. What kind of reflexivity and critical discussions is needed when doing and presenting visual analysis? And is a such reflection needed? And if it is needed, do other critical aspects have to be addressed in Visual Culture then in studies where the empirical base consists of documents, written texts and language? And is there some way that the researcher as a constructor of images can be visualised in a visual presentation of Short cuts?

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Keyword [en]
Visual Culture, images, masculinity, hair styles, berbers, methodology, reflexivity
National Category
Gender Studies
Research subject
Gender Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-22117OAI: diva2:595793
Through The Image. Using the visual to investegate, create analyze and present, Stockholm, Hässelby slott 25-27/10 2007
Available from: 2013-01-21 Created: 2013-01-21 Last updated: 2013-01-21

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