Visual Methods in Social Research

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Dawn Iisa Mannay


It was a pleasure to take up the invitation to review this second edition of Visual Methods in Social Research, as I had gained so much from reading the first edition and looked forward to returning to the updated volume. In the original book, Marcus Banks (2001, p. 7) argued that ‘our initial understandings or readings of images are always pre-scripted’ and he suggested that we ask particular questions about found images, ‘what the image is of, what is its context?, who took it or made it, when and why?, how do other people come to have it, how do they read it, what do they do with it?’. Drawing on Hindu philosophy, Banks encouraged readers to locate this more productive seeing in relation to ‘darshan’; the ability to see and understand multiple points of view and schools of thoughts; and I have carried this philosophy in my own work with visual and creative methodologies (Mannay 2016).

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How to Cite
Mannay, D. (2015). Visual Methods in Social Research. Visual Methodologies, 3(1), VII-VIII.
Book Reviews
Author Biography

Dawn Iisa Mannay, Cardiff University

Biographical Note:

Dr Dawn Mannay is a Lecturer in Social Sciences (Psychology) at Cardiff University’s School of Social Sciences, Wales, United Kingdom and an Associate Lecturer at the Open University; as well as being involved with the Women Making a Difference programme. Her research interests revolve around class, education, gender, geography, inequality, place, violence, and visual research methods. Recent Publications:Mannay, D. 2013. ‘Keeping close and spoiling’: exploring discourses of social reproduction and the impossibility of negotiating change and maintaining continuity in urban south Wales. Gender and Education, 25 (1), pp. 91-107.Mannay, D. (in press 2013). ‘Who put that on there... why why why?:’ Exploring the power games that remain in play when we apply participatory techniques of visual data production. Visual Studies.Mannay, D. 2011. Taking refuge in the branches of a guava tree: the difficulty of retaining consenting and non-consenting participants’ confidentiality as an indigenous researcher. Qualitative Inquiry, 17 (10), 962-964.Mannay, D. 2010. Making the familiar strange: Can visual research methods render the familiar setting more perceptible? Qualitative Research, 10 (1), 91-111. 


Banks, M. (2001). Visual methods in social research. London: Sage.

Brady, G. and Brown, G. (2013). Rewarding but let’s talk about the challenges: using arts based methods in research with young mothers. Methodological Innovations Online, 8(1), pp. 99-112.

Mannay, D. (2016). Visual, narrative and creative research methods: application, reflection and ethics. Abingdon: Routledge.

Mannay, D. and Morgan, M. (2015). Doing ethnography or applying a qualitative technique?: Reflections from the ‘waiting field’. Qualitative Research, 15(2), pp. 166-182.