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Contrasting images, complementary trajectories: sociology, visual sociology and visual research

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Recent books by Jon Prosser (Image-based Research 1998) and by Michael Emmison and Philip Smith (Researching the Visual 2000) recommend increased research attention to the visual dimensions of culture and social life, but their contrasting perspectives raise questions about how research of this sort can be pursued most productively: as a strand or dimension of sociological inquiry or through cross-disciplinary work in qualitative research or cultural studies? By attending to photographic and video tape recordings or by deliberately avoiding them in favor or other forms of evidence? As one answer to these questions, this essay outlines an approach to visual studies in which researchers neither resist nor romanticize the "image" and to which both disciplinary and interdisciplinary concerns have something to contribute.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Education at the University of California, Davis

Publication date: 2002-10-01

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