Different Ways of Seeing: Exploring audience reactions to images of probation supervision

2019-04-25T14:21:16Z (GMT) by Deirdre Healy Wendy Fitzgibbon
Participatory visual research methods like Photovoice have become increasingly popular in social science research over the past two decades. While the benefits for co-researchers are well-established, audience studies remain relatively scarce. This represents an important gap in knowledge, especially since advocacy for social change is regarded as a core goal of Photovoice research. The authors aim to contribute to the nascent audiencing literature by exploring the responses from an audience of criminal justice stakeholders to an exhibition of photographs produced by people under probation supervision in Dublin, Ireland. The discussion begins with a critical reflection on the researchers’ experience of curating a Photovoice exhibition. Next, audience responses to the images are explored, including the extent to which intended messages reached the target audience and encouraged them to reflect more deeply on the meaning of supervision. Finally, the implications for audiencing studies are considered, particularly the challenge of managing inter-subjectivities in the data analysis process.