chapter  21
16 Pages

Polytextual Thematic Analysis for visual data – pinning down the analytic

ByKATE GLEESON

Despite an exhilarating recent upsurge in attention to visual research methods in psychology (Frith et al., 2005), Psychologists have tended to focus on developing techniques that use visual methods to elicit data rather than attempt to analyse visual data itself. More recently, in some areas of psychology, it has become almost impossible to resist analysing visual data. Social psychology has become increasingly interested in the production of identity, dress, appearance and visuality generally (Kaiser, 1997). Health psychology has become concerned with appearance and visible difference (cf. Rumsey and Harcourt, 2005). While psychologists may feel they lack training in analysing visual images, the task is not beyond us. The processes involved in interpreting visual text may look a little different, but interpretation, whether of words or pictures, is basically the same process of bringing one set of texts to bear on another in order to make meaning.