Reflections on the Use of Visual Methods in a Qualitative Study of Domestic Kitchen Practices

Wendy Wills, Angela Meah, Angela Dickinson, Frances Short

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)
228 Downloads (Pure)


Understanding everyday social practices is challenging as many are mundane and taken for granted and therefore difficult to articulate or recall. This paper reflects on the challenges encountered in a qualitative study underpinned by current theories of practice that incorporated visual methods. Using this approach meant everyone in a sample of 20 household cases, from children through to adults in their 80s, could show and tell their own stories about domestic kitchen practices. Households co-produced visual data with the research team through kitchen tours, photography, diaries/scrapbooks, informal interviews and recording video footage. The visual data complemented and elaborated on the non-visual data and contradictions could be thoroughly interrogated. A significant challenge was handling the substantial insight revealed about a household through visual methods, in terms of household anonymity. The paper reflects on the challenges of a visual approach and the contribution it can make in an applied sociological study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-485
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Sociology
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016


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