Images as Shared Objects in Social Interaction A Sociomaterial Approach to the Visual Vernacular

Project leader

Funding source

Swedish Research Council - Vetenskapsrådet (VR)

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2007
End date: 31/12/2009
Funding: 1776000 SEK


Central to this project is the idea of artefacts as shared objects in focus in social, or rather, sociomaterial, interaction, a role that images often take but which is not limited to them. The project studies, in particular, theories about what is sometimes called vernacular images, that is, images intended to facilitate communication, interaction or evoke emotions of some kind. Some of these images are made and shown with no economic purpose; others are bought and sold as commodities. Thus, the project studies theories about images that are neither created nor consumed within art contexts. The project takes its point of departure in HS Becker´s seminal work in this area. It continues with Pierre Bourdieu´s early studies on photography, Simmel and Goffman´s writing on vision and visibility in social interaction and Sartre´s and Buber´s ideas about the look, the body and the image. A major effort is devoted to a sociomaterial reading of parts of Bruno Latour´s oeuvre about images as artefacts and the role of visualisation in science and technology. Lastly, the project will address contemporary writing in visual sociology and related fields, including K. Becker, D. Harper, Baudrillard, K. Henderson, V. Flusser and others. The aim is to develop theoretically grounded but transparent research strategies that illuminate how visual data can be used in sociology and how visually supported interaction can be understood in both private and public contexts.

Last updated on 2017-31-03 at 12:58