Photography in social science research

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Visual communication is critical in contemporary societies. Research in social sciences increasingly tends to mobilize the image, for example, in the form of photography, in its processes (in the collection and interpretation of information) and products (in the communication of research results), which leads to the need to reflect critically on its specificities. This paper aims to add to the analysis of the potentialities, limitations and challenges of the use of photography in social sciences research. For this purpose, the paper presents and discusses empirically collected documentary expressions, selected from an organizational case study based on their heuristic capacity to illustrate the argumentation put forth herein. It is concluded that the potential of the use of photography in research in social sciences is high, but it is essential that the researcher considers, besides more technical aspects and ethical complexities, that photography is, in part, also the materialization of a certain socially constructed representation of reality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-69
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Educational and Social Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020


  • Memory
  • Organization
  • Photography
  • Research
  • Social sciences


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