Arts-Based Research: Data Are Constructed, Not Found



“Arts-based research” is a vague term that has gained prominence since the last decade of the twentieth century. Nevertheless, the social sciences have implicitly practiced arts-based methods for well over one hundred years. Arguably, arts-based research theoretically began once social science accepted the camera as a source for producing valid social science data. Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 studies of a galloping horse—used to settle a bet—could be a formal date for the birth of the field (Solnit, 2003). In the mid-twentieth century, anthropologists—often noting poetic forms of discourse in the people they were studying—wrote poems in response to their field experiences and personal lives, but these were not considered to be part of their disciplined work (Cahnmann-Taylor & Siegesmund, 2008). In the last two decades of the twentieth century the barriers in the use of poetry to record and report anthropological findings continued to dissolve (Cahnmann, 2003).


Journal Entry Qualitative Reasoning Visual Journal Social Science Practice Anthropological Finding 
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