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Researching the Visual

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Researching the Visual

Images, Objects, Contexts and Interactions in Social and Cultural Inquiry

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Researching the Visual: Images, Objects, Contexts and Interactions in Social and Cultural Inquiry by Michael Emmison
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'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.

Table of Contents

Introduction Putting Visual Data into Focus Current Trends in Visual Research A Conceptual Review Two-dimensional Visual Data Images, Signs and Representations Three-dimensional Visual Data Settings, Objects and Traces Lived Visual Data The Built Environment and Its Uses Living Forms of Visual Data Bodies, Identities and Interaction

Author Biography

My current research interests are primarily informed by ethnomethodology and are largely focused on the analysis of conversational interaction, in particular on talk in institutional settings. Between 1999 and 2002 I was a co-recipient of a large ARC grant investigating expert-lay communication on a computer software helpline. Since then I have extended this program of inquiry in a number of directions. One is concerned with the organization of troubles telling and advice giving on a national Australian Children's helpline and the impact that technological modality (ie telephone, web-counseling and email) has on these phenomena. A second project, which is in its early stages, is examining interaction between parents and nurses on the Queensland Child Health line.
Release date NZ
March 15th, 2000
Country of Publication
United Kingdom
1, black & white illustrations
SAGE Publications Ltd
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