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Researching personal images and multiple voices: The methodological questions of ethics and power

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The article describes the use of personal photographs in a teaching case and in a research project. The teaching case was based on memory work and photographs; its aim was to make students aware of the socially constructed and everyday practises that shape our knowledge of the world and affect meanings associated with gender. In this case, the memory work also suggested for the participants the ways to affect our own future and operate in society. The research case concentrated on autobiographical photographs as well as the ways such images enable to arrate, present and recall the self. In the article, we ask: what are the methodological and practical possibilities and challenges introduced by the use of personal photographs in teaching and study cases? What ethical and power-related questions do private and personal data raise? By analysing the aforementioned cases, we will illustrate the methodological criteria and dilemmas for using images in teaching and research cases.
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Keywords: ethical issue; identity; memory; photo-related memory work; photography; power

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Lapland

Publication date: October 11, 2011

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  • The International Journal of Education through Art is an English language journal that promotes relationships between art and education. The term 'art education' should be taken to include art, craft and design education. Each issue, published three times a year within a single volume, consists of peer-reviewed articles mainly in the form of research reports and critical essays, but may also include exhibition reviews and image-text features.

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