In this presentation we argue that Graphic Social Science can make an important contribution to data storytelling.
The emergence of Graphic Medicine, and now Graphic Social Sciences, seeks to make connections with audiences, in part, through their focus on emotion, empathy, point of view, and ability to capture multiple perspectives. As such, graphic narratives are well suited to qualitative research and its methods. But how can quantitative social science data best be incorporated into graphic narrative forms?
Traditionally numerical data has been visualised through charts and tables, with narrative limited to what can be captured in headings and captions. The recent rise of infographics has seen the use of more sequential and visual narrative forms, yet their aesthetic and literacy still largely remains in the world of reading data – rather than reading stories.
With its greater emphasis on narrative, structural flow, and the use of iconography to capture sensitive subjects, Graphic Social Sciences can enhance the ways that we communicate quantitative data and embed this data in human stories. Drawing from our work curating graphics for our forthcoming Data Storytelling Workbook, in this presentation we reflect on how graphic narratives can be given to numbers, making stats come to tell complicated—and contested—stories.
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