Visual Research Methods for the Study of Higher Education Organizations

  • Amy Scott MetcalfeEmail author
  • Gerardo Luu Blanco
Part of the Higher Education: Handbook of Theory and Research book series (HATR, volume 34)


The purpose of this chapter is to consider the range of visual theories and methods that have been, or could be, applied to the study of higher education organizations. In framing this discussion, we take a multi-disciplinary approach to draw upon the various disciplinary and interdisciplinary traditions that have influenced higher education scholarship to date. We are especially interested in those areas of study that have contributed to our understanding of higher education organizations, such as anthropology, geography, and sociology. Our aim is to provide researchers with a comprehensive overview of the literature that surrounds visual research methods pertaining to the study of higher education institutions, their organizational identities, dynamics, and change. We expect that future higher education research would not merely apply visual theories and methods from other fields and disciplines, but will instead expand upon the existing literature base with our field’s own empirical and creative research practices.


Anthropology Cultural studies Geography Higher education institutions Media studies Methodology Organizational change Organizational theory Organizational identity Sociology Representation Space Visual culture Visual methods Visuality 


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Educational StudiesThe University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Department of Educational LeadershipUniversity of ConnecticutStorrsUSA

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