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

Loud and Proud. Listening to the English Defence League

Loud and Proud. Listening to the English Defence League

Over the last 2 years, Hilary Pilkington has been conducting (overt) ethnographic research with a number of divisions of the English Defence League under the auspices of the MYPLACE project. As part of this research she and the filmmaker – Dmitry Omelchenko obtained a visual material completed into film.

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

Untitled Study of NYC Streets

Untitled Study of NYC Streets

The way a city looks is, on any given day, both summation and confluence of hundreds of decisions made in the years and decades that preceded it. Across the history of photography, numerous photographers have taken it upon themselves to record the version of the city they experience with the understanding that the the presence of the landscape they take for granted is fleeting and vulnerable to choices made by government officials, developers, business interests, and even city residents who inhabit the sidewalk.

Read more

Tough Gun Legislation: It’s just a matter of time… but don’t hold your breath

Tough Gun Legislation: It’s just a matter of time… but don’t hold your breath

After the tragic shooting in Newtown last December that killed twenty children, regulating gun ownership became a topic of hot debate across the country… at least for a while anyway.

Read more

News/updates

IVSA 2020 Conference Cancelled

Dear Colleague,

Over the past several weeks, the Executive Board of the IVSA, in collaboration with the conference directors in Dublin, have been monitoring and discussing the ever-changing realities associated with the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the planning of this year’s annual conference.

For the sake of public health and with admittedly heavy hearts, we have decided to cancel this year’s conference.

Read more

IVSA ELECTIONS

On behalf of the IVSA, we would like to thank everyone who stood for a position in our recent elections to the IVSA Board. Although not everyone could be successful, we very much appreciate the commitment that members have shown towards the work of the IVSA. We also want to thank all our members who took the time to vote.

Read more

  • 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

  •  

    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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  •  

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

    James Reston

  •  

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

    Nicholas Mirzoeff

  •  

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

    Lisa Kristine

  • 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

  •  

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

    Pierre Bourdieu

  • 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

  •  

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

    Bertolt Brecht

  • 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

  • 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

  •  

    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

  •  

    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

  •  

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

    William S. Burroughs

  •  

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

    Steve Harp

#Visualsociology

Contact us

 
 
 
Become a member