"Sociology and Visual Representation is concerned with still images, diagrams and the visual presentation of the written text. It provides a selective historical survey of tests whose authors have contributed to the development of the social analysis of visual representation. It focuses, especially, on those recent texts which have changed the relationship of analysis to topic by incorporating visual representation "into the analysis itself.
Elizabeth Chaplin shows that photography, critical postmodernism and, above all, feminism have each played a part in blurring the distinction between art and non-art visual representations and in queestioning the assumption that the verbal does the analysing while the visual merely constitutes the object of analysis. She argues that critical alnalyses of society are powerful when both verbal and visual dimensions are consciously activated and coordinated. Chaplin urges social scientists to make more conscious use of visual representation in their analyses. More importantly, she argues that such a course offers social scientists who are women the opportunity to develop a distinct women's approach to social analysis.
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