Utilising mood boards in media research

Spawforth-Jones, Simon (2019) Utilising mood boards in media research. In: Research processes and methods symposium, 29 October - 30 October 2019, Bradford College, Bradford,. (Unpublished)

Abstract

This workshop explores how mood boards can be utilised within media audience research. This methodology has been developed in relation to a wider research project focussing on men, masculinity and reflexivity. The mood board process is one that is used most frequently in design practices and education but is shown here to have use in a media research context. The use of mood boards in capturing audience reactions and reflections on media images (specifically men’s magazines) is argued to be a useful method insofar as it allows participants to select and curate imagery in a simple and intuitive way and provides an elicitation device for participants to communicate through. The method is understood as being part creative visual method, part elicitation and part focus group. However, unlike creative visual methods the visual materials created here are used as elicitation devices rather than the data source. This workshop explores the development of the mood board methodology before inviting participants to engage in the same method in relation to the theme “what is masculinity?” using imagery found in a selection of men’s lifestyle magazines (Men’s Health, Esquire, Attitude and GQ). During the process one participant in each group assumes the role of the researcher and is responsible for steering the discussions and maintaining focus.

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