`The book has a solid practical feel to it, and although it deals philosophically with leading theorists such as Foucault, Goffman, Bourdieu and Hall it grounds the practice of visual research into everyday use.. Weaved cleverly throughout are numerous practical exercises which draw together the theoretical concepts and give them a grounded rational element. This book is a valuable research tool and I would anticipate that many researchers will find it a worthwhile addition to their armoury' - Mental Health Care. `This is a very useful book indeed for students; and a welcome reminder to academics about observational methods made unfashionable by ethics committees and critical ethnography' - Qualitative Research. `It is one of the best available textbooks on visual research methodology, particularly for those who are interested in anthropology and theoretical sociology' - A K Sinha, Sociological Bulletin. Providing a comprehensive introduction to the entire field of visual research, this book reviews the contributions of traditions as diverse as semiotics, ethnomethodology, symbolic interactionism and material culture studies and demonstrates their potential application for the visual researcher. The first part of the book deals with the more traditional themes in visual research. These center on the use of photographic images in ethnographic enquiry and the cultural interpretation of texts such as advertisements. It then goes on to show how visual research should also embrace the analysis of everyday objects, places and forms of social interactions. Accessibly presented yet methodologically rigorous and theoretically grounded, the relevance of leading theorists such as Foucault, Bourdieu, Goffman and Hall are discussed. The book includes numerous exercises which show students how `low-tech, low-budget' visual research can provide methodologically sophisticated ways of testing and developing cultural theory. The book is generously illustrated with images, and diagrams that serve to bring the various theoretical points into focus.

Current Trends in Visual Research: a Conceptual Review

This chapter will:

  • identify and discuss the prevailing trends which characterize visual research in social and cultural inquiry
  • review the history of photography as a research tool and discuss earlier summaries and typologies of the field
  • discuss some exemplary uses of photographically based research
  • highlight some of the epistemological concerns which accompany the ...
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