Sunday, 17 June 2012

Using Video? Here's a Special Issue of 'Qualitative Research'

Some ‘technical challenges’ of video analysis: social actions, objects, material realities and the problems of perspective

    1. Paul Luff
      1. King’s College London, UK
    2. Christian Heath
      1. King’s College London, UK
    1. Paul Luff, King’s College London, Department of Management King’s College London, Franklin-Wilkins Building 150 Stamford Street, London SE1 9NH, SE1 9NH, UK. Email: paul.luff@kcl.ac.uk


    Unlike the wide-ranging methodological debates surrounding the accomplishment and analysis of interviews, fieldwork and focus groups, the discussions concerning the use of video data tend to focus on a few frequently rehearsed issues. In this article we wish to broaden the consideration of methodological concerns related to video. We address the problems faced when collecting data, particularly on how to select the framing for the recordings. We discuss the problems faced by researchers and how these have been addressed, revealing how a conventional solution has emerged that facilitates a particular kind of ‘multi-modal’ analysis. We then suggest some limitations of this framing and describe a number of recent approaches to recording video data that seek to overcome these constraints. While providing opportunities for very distinctive kinds of analyses, adopting these solutions places very particular demands on how data are collected, how research activities are conventionally undertaken, and perhaps more importantly, the nature of the analysis that is made possible. Although seeming to be a practical and technical consideration about recording data, selecting a camera angle uncovers methodological concerns that reveal the distinctive demands that video places on researchers concerned with the detailed analysis of naturally occurring social interaction.

    The use of video to document tacit participation in an emergency operations centre

      1. Giolo Fele
      1. University of Trento, Italy
      1. Giolo Fele, Department of Sociology and Social Research, University of Trento, Via Verdi 26, 38122 Trento, Italy. Email: giolo.fele@soc.unitn.it


      This article explores the use of video in qualitative research. In particular, it focuses on the ways video recordings can be used to document cooperative work and tacit participation in a work setting. The article first presents previous research on participation framework, cooperation and multimodal interaction, then examines a single episode of interaction in a medical emergency call and dispatch centre. The article discusses aspects of coordination and collaboration emerging from the interaction between two people; a call taker and a dispatcher, working side by side during the managing of an emergency call. It explores the way in which social interaction can be studied even when there is no apparent correlation between differentcourses of action and how video can be used in order to reveal such subtle interaction work. The article finally examines the way in which video can document back stage practices that are central to much work practice but that are hidden from official documents.

      Videography: analysing video data as a ‘focused’ ethnographic and hermeneutical exercise

        1. Hubert Knoblauch
          1. Technical University Berlin, Germany
        2. Bernt Schnettler
          1. University Bayreuth, Germany
        1. Bernt Schnettler, University of Bayreuth, GW II, 95440 Bayreuth, Germany. Email:schnettler@uni-bayreuth.de


        Visual research methods are becoming increasingly important for qualitative studies. Within this dynamically expanding field, methods for analysing ‘natural’ video recordings have developed considerably over the past decades. In this article we discuss methodological aspects of general importance for any analysis of this type of video data. Being a fundamentally interpretive method, our first argument is that sequential analysis is always a hermeneutic endeavour, which requires methodical understanding. The second refers to data collection. We stress that, in addition to sequential analysis, the ethnographic dimension of video analysis should be taken into account methodologically. Video analysis requires, thirdly, a systematic account of the subjectivity, both of the actors analysed as well as of the analysts. Our arguments are grounded in extensive data from several studies, including the communicative genre of powerpoint presentations, commemoration rituals and public events. Selected data fragments are presented here to support our claims. Building upon this expertise, we propose further improvement of video analysis methodology by reflecting on our own practice of analysing video in data sessions (i.e. the ‘video analysis of video analysis’).

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