Subjective Cameras as Tools for Ethnography: The example of visitors’ affective relating to memorial sites
Brady Wagoner received his PhD from the University of Cambridge on a Gates Cambridge Scholarship, and is now Professor of Psychology at Aalborg University, Denmark. At a general level his work focuses on developing a culturally sensitive psychology that explores people’s process of meaning making in context. More specifically he has applied this framework to such topics as memory, visual culture, social change and the public engagement with science. His books include The Constructive Mind: Bartlett’s Psychology in Reconstruction (Cambridge University Press, 2017) and Handbook of Culture and Memory (Oxford University Press, 2018). In 2021, he received the prestigious Humboldt Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, having been nominated by Thomas Stodulka.
This presentation introduces subjective cameras as a research tool for capturing the situated, affective, and flowing experience of research participants as they engage with the environment. Subjective cameras are devices worn at eye level that record first person audio and video. This primary data is supplemented with a collaborative exchange between researcher and participant either (1) while walking along through the site together or (2) in a post-visit interview where the participant is shown the video of their visit. The data generated and kinds of analyses that can be done with it will be illustrated with a series of studies on how people makes sense of and relate to different kinds of memorial sites, including Berlin’s Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe.