Interpreting Visual Ethnography : Texts, Photos and the Construction of Sociological Meanings book cover
1st Edition

Interpreting Visual Ethnography
Texts, Photos and the Construction of Sociological Meanings

ISBN 9780367369521
Published September 11, 2019 by Routledge
204 Pages 21 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Focusing on the use of text in relation to a specific category of image - the photographic image - this book argues for a new appreciation of the relationship between texts and photographs in an age that seems to be dominated by visual images. With reference to a range of traditional and new media forms, and addressing such issues as gender, ethnicity, class, identity politics and biography, the author introduces a new perspective for the use and understanding of the symbiotic relationships that can exist between photographs and texts in the production of sociological, cultural and historical narratives: lamination. Drawing on the work of Barthes and Benjamin, the book explores the material forms of publications that involve the combination of photographs and texts, such as newspapers and journalism, documentary archives, visual ethnographies and on-line social networks, showing how text and image are contexts for one another and so negotiate meaning between themselves. A challenge to the recent 'visual turn' in sociology and cultural studies, which argues - without privileging text or image - for the significance of text in relation to visual images and the production of combined meanings, Interpreting Visual Ethnography will appeal to scholars of sociology, anthropology and media studies with interests in theory, visual methods and text and meaning.

Table of Contents



1. Lamination

2. Text vs. Photo? Agee, Evans and Lamination

3. Photo-Memory-Palimpsest: Lamination and Family Photographs

4. Beating the Street: Race and Visual Ethnography in the American City

5. Don’t Look Now! Photojournalism, "Uncomfortable Pictures" and Lamination

6. Digital Materialities: Lamination and New Media

7. Conclusion



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Erkan Ali received his PhD in Sociology from Lancaster University in June 2013. His research interests are in visual sociology, as well as traditional and contemporary social theory. He is currently Lecturer of English Language and Literature at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in China.