SOC 245(F) Image and Representation

This course takes an historical view of photography and social thought by mapping various projects and their critiques over the past century and a half. These include the photographic reflections of missionary social hierarchies and Western morality in late nineteenth century global expansion; the photographic utility in public policy, propaganda and social awareness from image muckrackers such as Jacob Riis and Lewis Hine to the Farm Security Administration; and the representation of the "other" through the photojournalism of National Geographic. Beyond ideological influences and cultural bias in image composition the course examines the ongoing technological developments that affect image manipulation and our presumption of authentic representation. Finally, social documentation and analysis within sociology is primarily text-based. However, research utilizing photography and video is making significant contributions to our empirical and theoretical understanding of the social world. Using an historical lens of the role and use of photography for social representation, the course will critically survey a wide sample of contemporary image-based social scientific research projects. Format: seminar. Requirements: several short written image exercises, two photography assignments (single-use cameras appropriate). Enrollment limit: 20 (expected: 15).