Research showcase celebrates social sciences

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Research showcase celebrates social sciences

Published on October 01 2012

When geography professor David Butz wanted to ask residents of a Pakistani village how they felt about a new road being constructed in their community, he brought along a vital piece of research equipment.

A camera.

"We're distributing cameras, people are taking pictures, we're downloading them and then we're interviewing people about their pictures," Butz said.

Butz and his research partner, Nancy Cook, are using a methodology called autophotography that's gaining popularity with ethnographic researchers. Autophotography allows research participants to speak for themselves by selecting what they choose to focus on as they take their pictures.

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