Jones, S. J., Hall, L., Kerridge, S., Woods, S., & Hall, M. (2011). Visualising the Cyberbully – Analysing Teenagers’ Expressive Drawings. International Association for the Development of the Information Society (eSociety). View PDF
Through the Internet and mobile technologies teenagers immerse themselves in networks of social relationships that often provide unhindered terrain for the cyberbully. Encouraging teenagers to verbalise about relationships with people they cannot see face to face is particularly problematic. Here, we used the generation of visual imagery during a role play activity with over 400 11 to 18 year olds to gain a greater understanding of cyberbullying. Teenagers were asked to carry out a web design activity about cyberbullying; this provided an appropriate context in which they could generate visual data and yielded 129 storyboards. Participants were in role as designers throughout and very open, fluid and productive in the task. Visual analysis highlighted teenagers’s reliance on their understanding of physical bullying to portray the cyberbully and identified more concrete manifestations of the cyberbullying threat. The use of a drawing approach with teenagers proved highly productive and the value of tapping into teenagers sophisticated visual language to help them express with great clarity the things that they find difficult to talk about is discussed.