This paper examines the ways arts can serve as a tool to nourish richer and more thoughtful qualitative research interpretation. Using a study of youth views of sexting as the case example, the authors explore the ways encounters with the arts—specifically, literature (Jane Austen), visual art (Kara Walker), and video (Ryan Trecartin)—in interaction with the reading of social science data led one member of a multidisciplinary team to develop new critical questions and embodied awareness of youth views on the issue of sexting. The authors claim art can serve as a catalyst for deeper understanding of social science questions if we allow ourselves the time and circumstances for such inquiry. In today’s world, where research teams are increasingly interdisciplinary, focused on a similar problem but highly diverse in the theory and techniques the members possess, art may be a means of developing new shared ways of approaching and experiencing a problem.
- © 2014 International Institute for Qualitative Research, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign