Lugano, Switzerland

Visual Data and Visual Methods in Social Sciences

when 22 August 2022 - 26 August 2022
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 700

The pervasiveness of visuals in everyday life (e.g., visual forms of communication in digital and social media, in advertising and corporate communication, in video games) not only makes it necessary for social scientists to be able to handle and analyze visual data adequately. The readily availability and the ease of use of visual technologies – e.g. of smartphones and thus of taking pictures and making videos (“ubiquitous photography” and “ubiquitous computing”) – also provides promising opportunities for using visual methods when conducting research on social phenomena. In other words, the visual approaches in the social sciences are not only concerned with the analysis of visual data and of visual material. Visuals can also be fruitfully used for research purposes. Both aspects will be covered in this workshop.

The workshop provides an introduction to visual data and visual methods and focuses on the use of different kinds of visuals in the whole research process, discussing: A) the collection and production of various forms of visual data, B) the analysis and interpretation of visual data and C) the use of visual methods in research designs. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be discussed and a particular emphasis is put on the combination and integration of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Further topical issues such as ethical challenges related to visual data and the effective use of visuals in the presentation of research results will also be discussed. Generally, the course aims to invite to a critical reflection on when to draw on what types of visual methods. It also aims to provide students the possibility to experiment with specific quantitative and qualitative visual methods first hand (e.g. visual or photo elicitation in interviews, video-ethnography and reflection, card sorting, quantitative image type analysis) and to enhance their skills in visual methods.

Course leader

K. Lobinger & J. Mengis, Professors at Università della Svizzera italaiana (USI)

Target group

Prerequisites

Students should be familiar with general notions of qualitative and quantitative research and be aware of their different orientations. Students should be interested in research that involving, among others, visual data and visual methods. The indicated readings serve as further references but are not mandatory preparatory readings.

Course aim

The workshop provides an introduction to visual data and visual methods and focuses on the use of different kinds of visuals in the whole research process, discussing: A) the collection and production of various forms of visual data, B) the analysis and interpretation of visual data and C) the use of visual methods in research designs. Both quantitative and qualitative approaches will be discussed and a particular emphasis is put on the combination and integration of quantitative and qualitative approaches. Further topical issues such as ethical challenges related to visual data and the effective use of visuals in the presentation of research results will also be discussed. Generally, the course aims to invite to a critical reflection on when to draw on what types of visual methods. It also aims to provide students the possibility to experiment with specific quantitative and qualitative visual methods first hand (e.g. visual or photo elicitation in interviews, video-ethnography and reflection, card sorting, quantitative image type analysis) and to enhance their skills in visual methods.

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of attendance, i.e. we certify your presence

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognize the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering, if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 700: Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).
To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral student. Send this letter/document by e-mail to methodssummerschool@usi.ch.
CHF 1100: Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).

Scholarships

As the Summer School is financed through participant’s fees alone and has no funds of its own, it cannot offer any scholarship, grants or financial aid.