Layers of narratives, images, and analysis

Hannah H. Covert, Mirka Koro-Ljungberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose – In this paper, the authors offer a methodological discussion and examples of visual analysis processes. The purpose of this paper is to illustrate a data analysis method that the authors named layered textural analysis, which brought together images and texts in ways that changed existing and decontextualized understandings. The authors used layered textural analysis to interpret photo-narratives from a photo elicitation study about the development of intercultural sensitivity in US study abroad students. Design/methodology/approach – Layered textural analysis, as carried out in this study, consisted of structural analysis of narratives present in interview text, visual analysis of the photos, and guiding questions related to the content and relationship of the photos and narratives. Findings – Individual experiences, images, and texts reflect complex connections between matter and thought. The multilayered analysis led to complex understandings and representations of participants’ learning and interpretation of cultural differences, and allowed us to examine photo-narrative events and participants’ individual meaning-making processes. Originality/value – Visual researchers rarely write about their processes of analysis in sufficient epistemological and methodological detail. Transparency about data analysis may inspire other scholars to experiment with data analysis approaches. The authors share layered textural analysis so that qualitative researchers can gain ideas for their own reflexive analytic techniques and to exemplify how multilayered analysis methods can change understandings of data and work against simplified knowledges.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-318
Number of pages13
JournalQualitative Research Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 10 2015


  • Data analysis methods
  • Intercultural sensitivity
  • Multilayered data analysis
  • Photo elicitation
  • Study abroad
  • Visual analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • General Social Sciences


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