About IVSA

The International Visual Sociology Association (IVSA) is a nonprofit, democratic, and academically -oriented professional organization devoted to the visual study of society, culture, and social relationships. Our members represents a wide spectrum of disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, education, visual communication, photography, filmmaking, art, and journalism.

On this site you can become a member of IVSA. Click here for more information.

You may also join the IVSA listserv for free! Simply send an email message to  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the command SUBSCRIBE IVSA in the body of the message. That’s all it takes.


Our Purpose

The purpose of IVSA is to promote the study, production, and use of imagery, visual data, and visually-oriented materials in teaching, research, and applied activities. We also foster the use of still photography, film, video, and electronically transmitted images in sociology and other related fields. Together we work to encourage:

  • documentary studies of everyday life in contemporary communities
  • the interpretive analysis of art and popular visual representations of society
  • studies about the social impact of advertising and the commercial use of images
  • the analysis of archival images as sources of data on society and culture
  • the study of the purpose and the meaning of image-making practices like recreational and family photography


Our Bylaws

The IVSA bylaws serve as the association's constitution. This document defines our name, purpose, membership, officers and executive board, meetings, and committees.

pdf IVSA Bylaws (PDF, Updated 2009)


Our Commitment

IVSA is committed to open and free intellectual discourse surrounding the visual representation of society and culture with due respect for the rights, dignity, and diversity of the human beings, organizations, and communities represented.

We uphold the standards of free speech, self-expression, and academic freedom in our pursuit of knowledge through the work of our organization and membership.

Through our publications, activities, and programs, we support the theoretical and methodological advancement of visual sociology and related fields as a way of examining and understanding our social and cultural world.

We are committed to the development of a body of scholarship and knowledge that maximizes the potential contributions of the study of visual images and the visual representation of society. We are equally committed to scholarship and knowledge that contributes to the public good.

We share with other professional organizations a social responsibility to strive to eliminate bias in professional activities, and we do not tolerate any forms of discrimination based on age, gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability, health conditions, or marital, domestic, or parental status. Everyone is welcome to join our organization and contribute to our work.