When researching, it is helpful to have a framework which you can use to analyse texts like reports or journal articles. Such a frame work might include the Colorado State University guide to analysing a text. For the purpose of this blog post, I will be using this framework to analyse Penny Tinkler’s ‘Ethical Issues and Legalities’ chapter from her book Using Photographs in Social and Historical Research.
The purpose of the chapter ‘Ethical Issues and Legalities’ is to explain about the ethical issues involved in taking, borrowing, and publishing photos. The content of this chapter is instructive and serves as a guide on how to act ethically in terms of taking, borrowing, and publishing photos.
Who is the author?
The author of the chapter, ‘Ethical Issues and Legalities’, is Penny Tinkler. Tinkler is an academic who disciplines in the areas of sociology and history. She has a history degree from the School of Social Sciences at Sussex University and has completed a PhD on the cultural construction of girlhood in the Department of Education Research at Lancaster University. She is also a part of the Department of Sociology at the University of Manchester.
Who is the audience for the work?
This chapter is intended for students and may be interesting for students of photography or journalism. This chapter aims to inform about the ethical choices students must make when taking, borrowing, or publishing photos in the future. The author does not expect any reaction from her audience but hopes they will learn something they can implement into their conduct.
Topic and position
Tinkler’s position is clear as she is trying to educate readers about ethical issues and legalities and the steps you can take to ensure you are acting ethically. The information is presented objectively and presents others viewpoints to provide information about the debates surrounding aspects of ethics.
There is no bibliography at the end of the chapter so we can assume that the sources used are listed in the back of the book. Tinkler does reference the work of others throughout her chapter and doesn’t seem to use one source more than others. Her sources are not that up to date but, considering that she is drawing on past examples to illustrate the correct way to act now, this is fine.
Tinkler paraphrases from other scholars and researchers to defend her ideas. Tinkler references the works of others to illustrate points. E.g. Tinkler references the research of Louisa Allen and her project involving sexual cultures in New Zealand schools to show why research participants are placed under the same ethical constraints that researchers are.
This chapter was designed for clarity, making use of headings and subheadings for quick reference. Some sections are summarised into point forms for ease of access to knowledge. However, the chapter was dominated by large chunks of text making it heavy to read.
Tinkler writes in a formal first person style that is mostly understandable. Some ideas were unclear but this did not occur often.
Draw a conclusion
Tinkler is concerned about the ethical issues and legalities around taking, borrowing, and publishing photos. She successfully shows ways and solutions for acting ethically and provides convincing evidence as to why we should do so.
NoCoast 2014, Checklist, Image, NoCoast, viewed 23 March 2015, http://nocoast.pro/ecommerce-conversion-checklist/
Tinkler, P 2013, ‘Ethical Issues and Legalities’, Using Photographs in Social and Historical Research, SAGE Publications, London, pp. 195-208