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Reframing Visual Social Science
Towards a More Visual Sociology and Anthropology

$38.99 (C)

  • Date Published: October 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781108436441

$ 38.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The burgeoning field of 'visual social science' is rooted in the idea that valid scientific insight into culture and society can be acquired by observing, analyzing and theorizing its visual manifestations: visible behavior of people and material products of culture. Reframing Visual Social Science provides a well-balanced, critical-constructive and systematic overview of existing and emerging modes of visual social and cultural research. The book includes integrated models and conceptual frameworks, analytical approaches to scrutinizing existing imagery and multimodal phenomena, a systematic presentation of more active ways and formats of visual scholarly production and communication, and a number of case studies which exemplify the broad fields of application. Finally, visual social research is situated within a wider perspective by addressing the issue of ethics; by presenting a generic approach to producing, selecting and using visual representations; and through discussing the specific challenges and opportunities of a 'more visual' social science.

    • Proposes an integrated and structured overview of the field, providing readers with a clear overview of the specific benefits and intricacies of different methods
    • Works toward achieving a more explicit and refined methodology in which to perform research
    • Features examples from a variety of sources and fields
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "A remarkably readable, yet highly scholarly exposure of approaches to research that open up the riches of contemporary and historical sources of visual culture. This book will be of great value to anyone involved at the cutting edge of carrying out visual research. They will find in it practical guidance, critical scholarship and encouragement to go further into this exciting field of study."
    Catherine Burke, University of Cambridge

    "Reframing Visual Social Science offers a fresh, powerful and theoretically sophisticated perspective on the visual turn that’s been reshaping social research for the past fifteen years. Focusing on the seam between visual evidence and visual representation, Pauwels examines a cluster of contrasting points of view that can discourage or distort visual approaches to the social sciences. Rather than pushing these contradictions aside, however, Pauwels embraces them as opportunities for systematic analysis. Through a combination of case studies and theoretical essays, he articulates that analysis as a comprehensive framework for understanding materials and research practices that are all too often treated sui generis - including photographic field work, ethnographic film, the analysis of found photographs, participatory media projects, and image-rich research reporting. The result is a path-breaking book that links existing treatments of visual social research with new possibilities and perspectives and has a great deal to offer both beginning and mature scholars."
    Jon Wagner, Professor Emeritus, School of Education, University of California, Davis

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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781108436441
    • length: 349 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 152 x 19 mm
    • weight: 0.52kg
    • contains: 113 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Remodelling Visual Social Science:
    1. Prologue and outline: (re)framing visual social science?
    2. An integrated framework for conducting and assessing visual social research
    Part II. The Visual Researcher as Collector and Interpreter:
    3. Researching 'found' or 'pre-existing' visual materials
    4. A visual and multimodal model for analyzing online environments
    Part III. The Visual Researcher as Producer, Facilitator and Communicator:
    5. The mimetic mode: from exploratory to systematic visual data production
    6. Visual elicitation techniques, respondent-generated image production and 'participatory' visual activism
    7. The 'visual essay' as a scholarly format: art meets (social) science?
    8. Social scientific filmmaking and multimedia production: key features and debates
    Part IV. Applications/Case Studies:
    9. Family photography as a social practice: from the analogue to the digital networked world
    10. A visual study of corporate culture: the workplace as metaphor
    11. Health communication in South Africa: a visual study of posters, billboards and grassroots media
    Part V. Visual Research in a Wider Perspective:
    12. Ethics of visual research in the offline and online world
    13. A meta-disciplinary framework for producing and assessing visual representations
    14. Advancing visual research: pending issues and future directions.

  • Author

    Luc Pauwels, Universiteit Antwerpen, Belgium
    Luc Pauwels is Professor of Visual Research Methods in the Faculty of Social Sciences (Department of Communication Studies) and Director of the Visual and Digital Cultures Research Center (ViDi) at the University of Antwerp.

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