Dicks, Bella; Flewitt, Rosie; Lancaster, Lesley and Pahl, Kate
Multimodality and ethnography: working at the intersection.
Qualitative Research, 11(3),
INTRODUCTION TO SPECIAL ISSUE
This special issue of Qualitative Research was produced in the context of a comparatively recent surge in qualitative ‘multimodal’ research. A number of scholars from diverse disciplinary and theoretical traditions have turned to multimodality in their endeavours to understand everyday communication and interaction in contemporary social life, often foregrounding certain tensions with more established research traditions, such as ethnography. In this issue, we focus on the methodological and theoretical implications of bringing multimodality and ethnography into dialogue with each other – a development that, we think, throws up some provocative issues for qualitative research methodology. These include questions about the ‘epistemological compatibility’ of different approaches, when each carries particular theoretical and methodological histories and associations, and what might be gained and lost in endeavours to bring together their respective descriptive and analytic conventions.
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