1st Edition

Visual Sociology

By Douglas Harper Copyright 2012
    312 Pages 100 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    312 Pages 100 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    Visual sociology has been part of the sociological vocabulary since the 1970s, but until now there has not been a comprehensive text that introduces this area. Written by one of the founding fathers in the field, Visual Sociology explores how the world that is seen, photographed, drawn, or otherwise represented visually is different from the world that is represented through words and numbers.

    Doug Harper’s exceptional photography and engaging, lively writing style will introduce:

    • visual sociology as embodied observation
    • visual sociology as semiotics
    • visual sociology as an approach to data: empirical, narrative, phenomenological and reflexive
    • visual sociology as an aspect of photo documentary
    • visual sociology and multimedia.

    This definitive textbook is made up of eleven chapters on the key topics in visual sociology. With teaching and learning guidance, as well as clear, accessible explanations of current thinking in the field, this book will be an invaluable resource to all those with an interest in visual sociology, research methods, cultural geography, cultural theory or visual anthropology.

    1. Visual Ethnography  2. Documentary Photography  3. Reflexivity  4. The Visual Sociology of Space from Above, Inside and Around  5. Comparing Societies  6. Ethnomethodology, Semiotics and the Subjective  7. Multimedia and Visual Sociology  8. Photo Elicitation  9. Photovoice  10. Teaching Sociology Visually  11. Final Words. Appendix: Teaching Materials and Sources.


    Douglas Harper is Professor of Sociology at Duquesne University. He has published five books with the University of Chicago Press, which include innovative uses of photography as well as other qualitative methods. Harper has also edited or co-edited four books on visual sociology. He is the founding editor of Visual Studies, the official journal of the International Visual Sociology Association. He has published more than fifty chapters, articles and photo essays, and has been invited by more than 100 universities and academic societies in the US and abroad to lecture on qualitative methods and visual sociology.