This website contains a number of public resources as well as our members resources. IVSA members can submit content to the site from the members area.

Showcase articles

Seeing Cities Change: Local Culture and Class

Seeing Cities Change: Local Culture and Class

In this book I bring together visual work on urban communities that I had been doing long before I had even heard of Visual Sociology, as well as after my encounters with the International Visual Sociology Association. As John Grady might have phrased it — almost 50 years of doing urban sociology visually.

Read more

Visual Methods at the Crossroads

Visual Methods at the Crossroads

Visual methods are at the crossroads. They can remain in a niche or move into the mainstream by also addressing all people using visual materials. In the social sciences, visual methods encompass photography, video, and graphic representations.

Read more

Why We Should Take Advertisements Seriously

Why We Should Take Advertisements Seriously

Advertisements are important social and cultural documents. A representative sample often reflects a society’s concerns and values as accurately as well-executed surveys do. But how is this possible? How could images designed by people who don’t know, or haven’t talked to, us — and who are completely self-interested to boot – possibly reflect our innermost thoughts and feelings? Figuring out how exercises in persuasion by self-interested advertisers somehow manage to create reliable indicators of public sentiment has puzzled social scientists for a long time. Fortunately, it looks like the new social media may provide a key to solving that puzzle.

Read more

Exploring Society Visually

Exploring Society Visually

A collection of fifteen visual essays and slideshows prepared for three textbooks in introductory sociology for W.W. Norton.

Read more

News/updates

We’re surrounded by images. What do they mean?

In a society exploding with new media and constant communication, visuals are often able to say more than words.

The field of visual sociology researches and dissects the effect of images. From June 19 to 22, some 300 scholars from around the world will be coming to Concordia for the 35th International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) Conference.

Read more

Winner of the British Sociological Association/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award 2017

Winner of the British Sociological Association/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award 2017

The IVSA is so happy to hear that this year the winner of the British Sociological Association/Thinking Allowed Ethnography award 2017 is Prof Hilary Pilkington. The work which Hilary won the award for is Loud and Proud: Passion and Politics in the English Defence League, which is featured in the IVSA Showcase.

Read more

  • Photographers learn to interpret photographs in that technical way because they want to understand and use that ‘language’ themselves (just as musicians learn a more technical musical language than the layman needs). Social scientists who want to work with visual materials will have to learn to approach them in this more studious and time-consuming way

    Howard Becker

  • We never really know what’s around the corner when we’re filming – what turn a story will take, what a character will do or say to surprise us, how the events in the world will impact our story.

    Barbara Kopple

  • If you want to tell the untold stories, if you want to give voice to the voiceless, you’ve got to find a language. Which goes for film as well as prose, for documentary as well as autobiography. Use the wrong language, and you’re dumb and blind.

    Salman Rushdie

  •  

    Reality changes; in order to represent it, modes of representation must change.

    Bertolt Brecht

  • You try your hardest to give people their space, but at moments you know you’re capturing their image in ways they may or may not be okay with. It’s that rocking back and forth between respect and betrayal that I feel like is at the heart of the film.

    Kirsten Johnson

  •  

    Sometimes one picture is equal to 30 pages of discourse, just as there are things images are completely incapable of communicating.

    William S. Burroughs

  •  

    If it’s far away, it’s news, but if it’s close at home, it’s sociology.

    James Reston

  • Give us adequate images. We lack adequate images. Our civilization does not have adequate images. And I think a civilization is doomed or is going to die out like dinosaurs if it doesn’t develop an adequate language for adequate images.

    Werner Herzog

  •  

    The function of sociology, as of every science, is to reveal that which is hidden.

    Pierre Bourdieu

  •  

    Every photograph promises more than it delivers and delivers more than it intended.

    Steve Harp

  •  

    There are dignified stupidities, and there are heroic stupidities, and there is such a thing as stupid stupidities, and that would be a stupid stupidity not to have a camera on board.

    Werner Herzog

  •  

    One advantage of photography is that it’s visual and can transcend language.

    Lisa Kristine

  • Before I became a film major, I was very heavily into social science, I had done a lot of sociology, anthropology, and I was playing in what I call social psychology, which is sort of an offshoot of anthropology/sociology – looking at a culture as a living organism, why it does what it does.

    George Lucas

  •  

    For any picture, ask yourself what question or questions it might be answering. Since the picture could answer many, questions, we can decide what question we are interested in.

    Howard Becker

  •  

    Visual culture is now the study of how to understand change in a world too enormous to see but vital to imagine.

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  •  

    The task for sociology is to come to the help of the individual. We have to be in service of freedom. It is something we have lost sight of.

    Zygmunt Bauman

  • I believe that we face incredible obstacles in our attempts to see the world. Everything in our nature tries to deny the world around us; to refabricate it in our own image; to reinvent it for our own benefit. And so, it becomes something of a challenge, a task, to recover (or at least attempt to recover) the real world despite all the impediments to that end.

    Errol Morris

  • Watching a documentary with people hacking their way through some polar wasteland is merely a visual. Actually trying to deal with cold that can literally kill you is quite a different thing.

    Henry Rollins

#Visualsociology

Dionysia Lali

RT @Creative_Crim: Check out this interesting conference panel #visualsociology #visualcriminology #visualethics #researchingonline #distur…

Contact us

 
 
 
Become a member