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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.

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Forward to The Photographed Cat: Picturing Human-Feline Ties, 1890-1940

Forward to The Photographed Cat: Picturing Human-Feline Ties, 1890-1940

Why did we let cats into our homes instead of keeping them outside where they belong? Arnold Arluke and Lauren Rolfe tell us why in The Photographed Cat, Syracuse University Press. John Grady reflects on the context of this cultural change in the forward.

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The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods

The Sage Handbook of Visual Research Methods

This 42 chapter volume represents the state of the art in visual research. It provides an introduction to the field for a variety of visual researchers: scholars and graduate students in art, sociology, anthropology, communication, education, cultural studies, women’s studies, ethnic studies, global studies and related social science and humanities disciplines.

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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.

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News/updates

CALL FOR NOMINATIONS FOR GRADUATE STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE

The IVSA is governed by its Executive Board, which consists of President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Technology Advisor, Visual Studies Editor, Graduate Student Representative and nine elected Board Members.

The following IVSA Executive Board position is now open for nominations and self-nominations:

  • Graduate Student Representative (GSR)

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Call for Proposals to Host Annual Conference

The IVSA has launched a call for proposals from individuals and organizations interested in hosting our annual conference. Proposals are being accepted for 2019, 2020 and 2021.

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

    Steve Harp

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

    James Reston

  • 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

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    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

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    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

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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  • 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

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

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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    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 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

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

    Bertolt Brecht

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    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

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

    Lisa Kristine

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