Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: March 15, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412939645 | Print ISBN: 9781412916080 | Online ISBN: 9781412939645| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this handbook
Chapter 65: Visual Sociology
Visual sociology Visual sociology employs images and other visual displays to analyze society and culture. As an emerging focus for study, it draws on two intellectual impulses that reflect a more general preoccupation with the visual. The first impulse is committed to using visual methods for research into human affairs and appeared roughly when Ph.D. programs in sociology were being established in America. The second impulse is concerned with the meanings of a culture's visual representations and has deeper roots in Western intellectual history. Interest in developing visual methods for scientific research is almost as old as the camera itself. By the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, anthropologists, physiologists, criminologists, eugenicists, and others had developed research agendas that used photography—and in some cases moving pictures—to produce evidentiary materials that were central to their arguments, whether as data or as illustrations. Sociologists, however, tended to use photographs and other visual ...