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Seeing voices and hearing pictures: image as discourse and the framing of image-based research

Piper, Heather and Frankham, Jo (2007) Seeing voices and hearing pictures: image as discourse and the framing of image-based research. Discourse: studies in the cultural politics of education, 28 (3). 373 - 387. ISSN 0159-6306

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Abstract

This paper addresses an increasingly popular technique for eliciting student “voice” through the analysis of young people's images as a medium of expression, focusing in particular on photography. Of course, there has been considerable critical interrogation of student voice activities in the recent past and the complexities and challenges associated with the analysis of images is longstanding. Where critical scrutiny is less apparent, however, is in the interpretation of children and young people's visual “statements”. We argue that young people's images should be subject to the same processes of deconstruction as other texts produced under the aegis of voice activities and conclude by suggesting that the crisis of representation familiar in most interpretive genres is sometimes absent from what tends to be an uncritical celebration of representation in this particular context.

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