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Representing identity: findings from a study using visual metaphors

Gauntlett, David (2007) Representing identity: findings from a study using visual metaphors. In: 57th Annual ICA Conference: Creating Communication: Content, Control, & Critique, 24 - 28 May 2007, San Francisco, CA. (Unpublished)

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This paper presents the findings of a study in which participants were invited to build metaphorical models of their identities in Lego, as part of an exploration of media influences. For several years the author has been developing the use of creative visual methods, using video, drawings, collage, etc. These offer alternatives to studies which presume that people can generate instant accounts of their inner worlds in language. In this study, 79 individuals from varied backgrounds were given time to work through a research process in which they ultimately produced a model of their identity, and influences, using metaphors. This was a variation of the Lego Serious Play consultancy process. Findings show individuals understand their identities as complex, balanced wholes, often involving the metaphor of a journey. They negotiate tensions between individual distinctiveness and social responsibilities. The media plays a role by offering models of narratives through which individuals understand and narrate their identity stories.

Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords:Identity, audiences, methodology, creative methods, visual methods, sociology
Research Community:University of Westminster > Media, Arts and Design, School of
ID Code:5414
Deposited On:18 Aug 2008 12:09
Last Modified:18 Aug 2008 12:09

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