Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Necessary connections: ‘Feelings photographs’ in criminal justice research

Rogers, Chrissie (2020) Necessary connections: ‘Feelings photographs’ in criminal justice research. Methodological Innovations, 13 (2). ISSN 2059-7991. (doi:10.1177/2059799120925255) (KAR id:79726)

PDF Publisher pdf
Language: English

Download this file
[thumbnail of 2059799120925255.pdf]
Request a format suitable for use with assistive technology e.g. a screenreader
PDF Author's Accepted Manuscript
Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication
[thumbnail of Final version Necessary connections.pdf]
Official URL:


Visual representations of prisons and their inmates are common in the news and social media, with stories about riots, squalor, drugs, self-harm and suicide hitting the headlines. Prisoners’ families are left to worry about the implications of such events on their kin, while those incarcerated and less able to understand social cues, norms and rules, are vulnerable to deteriorating mental health at best, to death at worst. As part of the life-story method in my research with offenders who are on the autism spectrum, have mental health problems and/or have learning difficulties, and prisoner’s mothers, I asked participants to take photographs, reflecting upon their experiences. Photographs in this case, were primarily used to help respondents consider and articulate their feelings in follow-up interviews. Notably, seeing (and imagining) is often how we make a connection to something (object or feeling), or someone (relationships), such that images in fiction, news/social media, drama, art, film and photographs can shape the way people think and behave – indeed feel about things and people. Images and representations ought to be taken seriously in researching social life, as how we interpret photographs, paintings, stories and television shows is based on our own imaginings, biography, culture and history. Therefore, we look at and process an image before words escape, by ‘seeing’ and imagining. How my participants and I ‘collaborate’ in doing visual methods and then how we make meaning of the photographs in storying their feelings, is insightful. As it is, I wanted to enable my participants to make and create their own stories via their photographs and narratives, whilst connecting to them, along with my own interpretation and subjectivities.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1177/2059799120925255
Projects: Care-less Spaces: Prisoners with learning difficulties and their families
Uncontrolled keywords: Learning Difficulties, Mental Health, Criminal Justice, Autism, Mothering, Prisons, Visual Methods, Photo-elicitation, Life Stories, Photovoice
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare > HV1568 Disability studies
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research > Tizard
Funders: Leverhulme Trust (
Depositing User: Christine Rogers
Date Deposited: 23 Jan 2020 15:59 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Jan 2024 16:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.