The Visual Field of Biographies. Questions and Conceptual Suggestions

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 11:15
Oral Presentation
Roswitha BRECKNER, Sociology, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Through digitalization, communication via internet, and especially through Social Media, visual communication and self-presentation has become not only common, but in more and more generations even to some extent dominant. Especially visual communication on Facebook can be assumed to have strong biographical references, since here a ‘life’ becomes visible over the years even if it was not intended to depict it. How we as biographical researchers can approach these phenomena methodologically? In what way do we need to extend our concepts of biography by thinking of the visual dimensions in which biographies are constructed? How we can combine narrative and text analysis with visual analysis in biographical research?
My paper addresses these questions by presenting conceptual and methodological suggestions how visual biographies can be approached, taking different ways of constructing biographies with images in the offline as well as online world into account in combination with spoken and written documents.