Using Photographic Data to Build a Large-scale Global Comparative Visual Ethnography of Domestic Spaces: Can a Limited Data Set Capture the Complexities of ‘Sociality’?

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This paper describes an innovative attempt to construct a large-scale, global comparative visual ethnography of domestic spaces, and uses the notion of ‘sociality’ to interrogate the ability of such a broad but relatively thin data set to do justice to ethnography’s potential to capture and communicate the salience of the socially co-constructed contexts of people’s lives. Whilst noting the risks inherent in using data sets that exclude information about social context and meanings, it argues that working within the confines of these deficiencies can be turned to positive account to drive both theoretical innovation and analytical rigor.

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