Acknowledging documentary filmmaking as not only an output but a research process: a case for quality research practice

Article


Fitzgerald, Angela and Lowe, Magnolia. 2020. "Acknowledging documentary filmmaking as not only an output but a research process: a case for quality research practice." International Journal of Qualitative Methods. 19, pp. 1-7. https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406920957462
Article Title

Acknowledging documentary filmmaking as not only an output but a research process: a case for quality research practice

ERA Journal ID39914
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsFitzgerald, Angela (Author) and Lowe, Magnolia (Author)
Journal TitleInternational Journal of Qualitative Methods
Journal Citation19, pp. 1-7
Number of Pages7
Year2020
PublisherSAGE Publications India
Place of PublicationUnited kingdom
ISSN1609-4069
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1177/1609406920957462
Web Address (URL)https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/1609406920957462
Abstract

Documentary films play an important role in how we see and position ourselves in the world. While traditionally viewed as a creative practice, documentary filmmaking has been transitioning into the academic world as a way to undertake and engage with research practices. Some question marks remain, however, over the nature of documentary filmmaking as a research method. This paper seeks to build a case for documentary as a research practice using Guba and Lincoln’s quality criteria, which is typically employed to ensure the trustworthiness of collected data, as a frame for sense making. This case for research innovation also draws upon the first author’s previous experiences with video ethnography and the second author’s expertise as a documentary film maker. Their collaboration resulted in a longitudinal research project that foregrounded documentary practices as key to data gathering and sense making. This research project sought to understand the early career experiences of Australian graduate teachers from their perspective. Using this research project as a context, this paper unpacks how seven quality criteria can be explored and addressed using documentary filmmaking as method. This work highlights the possibilities and challenges inherent in innovating in the qualitative methodology space when considering the use of documentary filmmaking practices. It also adds meaningful and practical insights to a growing groundswell of voices that recognize documentary filmmaking as a viable and valuable research method.

Keywordsdocumentary, filmmaking, visual ethnography, quality criteria, innovation
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020390401. Comparative and cross-cultural education
390303. Higher education
Public Notes

Creative Commons Non Commercial CC BY-NC: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License
(https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).

Byline AffiliationsSchool of Education
Independent Filmmaker, New Zealand
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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