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The Ethics of Representing Girls in Digital Policy Spaces

Emily Anderson

Keywords: education policy analysis; girls’ education; new media; qualitative research methods; visual analysis

In this article I apply policy frame and visual analysis to explore UNICEF’s advocacy for girls’ education on Instagram. I consider a purposefully selected sample of photos and captions instagrammed from UNICEF’s official account so as to describe the policy framing of girls’ education policy, and population targeting. A parallel goal of this article is to interrogate the ethics of using image-intensive new media data in education policy research. My findings expose the ways in which girls’ images and experiences are used to promote UNICEF’s agenda and advocacy for girls’ education. I show the need for adapting protocols for working ethically with publicly available social media data in education policy research.

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