Self-representations in New Media
Edited By Knut Lundby
Part V: On The Edge
PART V ON THE EDGE Lundby et al.indd Sec1:251 7/30/08 10:05:00 PM Lundby et al.indd Sec1:252 7/30/08 10:05:00 PM FOURTEEN Creative brainwork: Building metaphors of identity for social science research DAVID GAUNTLETT As a means of gathering information about people’s lives, digital storytelling projects are obviously distinctive in that they invite participants to tell stories using words and pictures. Interviews or focus groups, by contrast, require people to generate spoken accounts in response to questions. Participants are unlikely to see each utterance as a fresh task in the art of storytelling and do not usu- ally provide illustrated answers. Digital storytelling enables a diﬀ erent kind of account to emerge, through a process which is driven by visual elements and which—in its very name—highlights the task of telling a story. Th is is not co- incidental, of course. At the start of his Digital Storytelling book, Joe Lambert recalls how he was inspired as a child by folk singers who ‘looked for ways to capture their own and others’ sense of the extraordinary in the ordinary com- ings and goings of life’ (2006, p. 2). Th is democratic and empowering impulse was built into the heart of digital storytelling—a conscious and deliberate pro- cess of composing song-sized celebrations of everyday lives. Th is chapter is not about digital storytelling per se. My connection with the Mediatized Stories project is slightly tangential, as I do social research in which people are asked...
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