I originally came up with the broad plan for my dissertation while reading this article:
Clark-Ibáñez, M. (2004) ‘Framing the Social World with Photo-elicitation Interviews’, American Behavioral Scientist 47(12): 1507-1527
The author’s description of using photographs taken by the respondent and then discussing the feelings, reasons and meanings behind the photograph struck me as an interesting method of research and one which could be used to study visitor experiences at museums. I have also previously heard of some research which was conducted by giving children cameras and recording their viewpoint of museum visits. http://www2.le.ac.uk/research/festival/meet/humanities/kirk/poster.pdf
I will need to mention this to the course director as I am hoping it will not influence the research I hope to do. I am going to try and use different methods to do this and the project will not take as long.
I have been reading about Grounded Theory as a way of developing the project. At the moment I am not sure on what the exact questions will be so using the photographs in the first instance and then developing the research questions from this point would be ideal.
I emailed the museum today (15th June) to see if they would be open to me conducting my research at the New Walk Museum. I will have to wait and see what the answer is…
20th June 2012
I went to Prof Sarah Pink’s seminar on Visual Methods for Organisational Studies today. The talk gave me some more ideas about how I could make my dissertation more dynamic. She spoke about movement and using video to get a better experience of the participant’s point of view or help the researcher have the same or similar experience. I think there may be some possibility to working this kind of method into my dissertation. It will need some thinking about as I have never used a video camera and would need to get some practice. Or indeed, think about how I could get the best use out of it.
The thoughts on filming someone’s visit through the museum made me think about how the different people in the museum use the space. Museum workers might see things differently to visitors. It might be worth filming museum workers moving about the museum during their day or a few hours, and comparing it to the visitors view. It might also be worth getting museum workers to take photos of things around the museum in the same way as the visitor will. This could then be compared.
26th June 2012
I received this reply from the museum his morning:
I am sorry for not responding earlier. In principle I would be happy with this, however there may be some issues with photographs in all galleries as we have copyright issues with some of the objects. Please can you let me have a detailed proposal with potential dates?
I think it sounds like a good way to research customer experiences and would be really interested in the results.
If you wish to discuss further please give me a call.
This is brilliant news. As I develop this proposal I can take this into account. I might go and visit and have a chat about it as it might be easier to speak to them directly and see how I might have to change my proposal in relation to any copyright issues they may have. As I am not intending to publish all of the photos, it may be a case of restricting the photographs of the copyrighted objects and not being able to give them to the participants.
27th June 2012
I have been thinking a little further on the copyright issue. I am wondering if I could get permission to publish the photographs. I will have to look into this further…I work in the law school so there should be someone here that can help me on copyright issues too.