Photos, ethics and the law.

This week’s blog task was to analyse or give a critique on a text, which contained research of some description. Being the uninventive Uni student that I am I chose a reading from week 3: Chapter 10 of the book “Using photographs in social and historical research”, “Ethical and Legal issues” by University of Manchester Lecturer and Sociology expert, Professor Penny Tinkler. After reading the chapter over a few times the first thing made clear to me was the purpose of the chapter; to inform the reader of the several legal and ethical issues associated with using photographs in research.

After researching the author’s personal context I then had an understanding of the author’s purpose and intentions of writing the book in the first place. The initial paragraphs of the chapter explain the common need for “researchers and research participants to generate photos in the course of research” and Tinkler then goes on to explain the ethical and legal issues surrounding researchers generating photos. The chapter is structured with the use of subheadings to break up the information being conveyed which allowed me to comprehend what Tinkler was saying and I developed a greater understanding of the topic overall. I found this structure to be more engaging and simpler to read.

An interesting technique used in this chapter is the addition of summaries at the end of the first two sub-topics, which I found very useful to my own analysis of the information. The body of the chapter continues with detailed examples of the different instances of photos being used for research with possible legal and ethical implications. Tinkler has used sources from journal articles including some of her own work throughout the chapter to back up her statements with this well-researched evidence, enhancing the quality of her argument on the whole. The chapter ends with asummary of the author’s arguments that have been mentioned earlier.

Overall, this chapter presents a well-researched, structured presentation on the legal and ethical issues surrounding the use of photographs in social and historical research. With the use of subheadings, the author clearly presents her argument in an engaging and formal tone to draw her reader’s attention to the point she is trying to make. The author’s context and background in Ethics and sociology allows us as the readers to develop a deeper understanding of her motivation to present this chapter. The author’s position on the topic is clearly conveyed throughout the chapter with references to journal articles to back up her statements.

References:  Tinkler, Penny 2013, ‘Ethical issues and legalities’, in Using photographs in social and historical research, SAGE, London, pp. 195-208


One thought on “Photos, ethics and the law.

  1. I found this text critique to be thorough and well layed out. If there was something I could suggest, and I am by no means saying I am right or implying i know better, but, perhaps more detail about the actual content of the text, as well as the way in which it has been put together, which you covered well.

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