Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton November 22, 2017

Argumentation in participant-driven photo interviews: A case in ICT for development in Mozambique

Silvia De Ascaniis, Sara Vannini and Lorenzo Cantoni
From the journal Semiotica


Argumentation is essentially dialogical, hence based on verbal disputation. Nonetheless, other semiotic resources than language may play a substantial role in argumentative circumstances. In this article, different argumentative functions played by photographs are explored, based on an unusual corpus for the field. People working in Mozambican Community Multimedia Centers (CMCs) were interviewed, in order to reconstruct the social meaning they confer to such places. To facilitate the exchange of meanings between interviewees and interviewers, who had different cultural and experiential backgrounds, interviewees were requested to take pictures of something they liked, something they didn’t like, and something they perceived as particularly representative of their CMC. Pictures were then presented and commented by participants during their interview. By means of analytical reconstructions, the major argumentative roles played by photographs in the interviews were identified, as well as their semiotic function in respect to interviewees’ words. Argumentative analysis also broadened and enriched the method of photo-driven interviews, and added a further interpretative access to analysis of social representations.


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Published Online: 2017-11-22
Published in Print: 2018-01-26

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