Visual Narratives, Photovoice and Meth Use in Rural Alabama: A Case Study of Alice

Fiona Brookman, Heith Copes, Jared Ragland

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The signs and symbols of recognizable stories within scenes framed by photographs are capable of creating narration. Symbols of cultural types (e.g., the homeless, drug addicts, gang members) can be mobilized in photographs in the same way that storytellers mobilize them through words. The photograph can either reinforce or challenge dominant cultural narratives depending on what is included and excluded in the frame, and how the image is captioned. Here, we report findings from an ethnographic study of meth users in rural Alabama that incorporates a photovoice component where meth users captured their own images to tell their stories of different moments of their lives; including those times that center on meth use (e.g., obtaining meth, using it, and being high) and those times that do not (e.g., family and work life). The implications of photovoice for the emerging field of narrative criminology are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016
EventAmerican Society of Criminology Conference 2016: The Many Colors of Crime and Justice - Hilton Hotel, New Orleans, United States
Duration: 16 Nov 201619 Nov 2016


ConferenceAmerican Society of Criminology Conference 2016
Abbreviated titleASC2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew Orleans


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