Universität Wien FIND

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240528 SE Images in the mind and trough the lens - Photography as a method of research (P4) (2021S)

Continuous assessment of course work

Participation at first session is obligatory!

The lecturer can invite students to a grade-relevant discussion about partial achievements. Partial achievements that are obtained by fraud or plagiarized result in the non-evaluation of the course (entry 'X' in certificate). The plagiarism software 'Turnitin' will be used for courses with continuous assessment.


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The course will start digital. If the Covid regulations allow it, it will change to on-site or hybrid.
Information about the lecture rooms will then follow in time.

Monday 08.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 15.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 22.03. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 12.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 19.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 26.04. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 03.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 10.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 17.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 31.05. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 07.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 14.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 21.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital
Monday 28.06. 18:30 - 20:00 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Representation is a quintessential dimension in visual anthropology, pertaining to both photography and film. Visual reproductions can evoke an emphatic understanding of how other people experience their world. They are part of a complex system of visual communication shared by the members of a society. The use and understanding of images is determined through socially established and learned symbolic codes and can be read as text in different ways.

During this course we will try to take a closer look at the different processes of selection, structuring and interpretation in theory and practice, studying not only the finished products but also the social process of their creation.

The course aims to
• give a look into the potential and possibilities, limits and problems of visual representation.
• show how visual representations always originate from a specific, implicit or explicit, perspective
• further your awareness of how your personal perspective impacts how you choose to represent your own topics of research
• introduce you to the process of research using photo-documentation or photo-elicitation

The course is divided into three part.

The initial phase will be spent discussing seminal texts students will be expected to prepare beforehand.

The second part will focus on the methods of photo-documentation and photo-elicitation.

During the final phase small student groups (if possible) will undertake short research projects using one of the mentioned qualitative methods.

Assessment and permitted materials

Grades are based on:
- participation during class,
- a short presentation of suggested readings
- a short presentation of your research process
- a final paper (approx. 3000 words, excl. footnotes and bibliography)

Delivery of final paper: 31.07.2021

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

For a passing grade a minimum of 55 out of 100 possible points has to be reached.

Participation is worth up to 20 points,
the initial design of your research up to 10,
it’s presentation up to 20
and the written paper up to 50 point.

Examination topics

Content of the lecture series and compulsory literature

Reading list

Banks, M. (1998). Visual anthropology: Image, object and interpretation. In J.Prosser (Hrsg.), Image-based research: A sourcebook for qualitative
researchers (S. 9–23). London: Routledge.

Lapenta, F. (2012). Some theoretical and methodological views on photo-elicitation. In E. Margolis & L. Pauwels (Hrsg.), The SAGE handbook of visual research
methods (S. 201–213). London: Sage.

Pink, S. (2011). Multimodality, multisensoriality and ethnographic knowing: Social semiotics and the phenomenology of perception. Qualitative Research, 11(3), 261–

Radley, A., Hodgetts, D., & Cullen, A. (2005). Visualizing homelessness: A study in photography and estrangement. Journal of Community and Applied Social Psychology, 15(4), 273–295.

Schwartz, D. (1989). Visual ethnography: Using photograhy in qualitative research. Qualitative Sociology, 12(2), 119–154.

Gillian Rose; Visual Methodologies - An Introduction to the Interpretation of Visual Materials, Second Edition, Sage 2007

Sarah Pink; Doing Visual Ethnography, Second Edition, Sage 2007

Marcus Banks; Visual Methods in Social Research; Sage Publications 2001

Brian Winston;Image-based Research: A Sourcebook for Qualitative Researchers (ed.Jon Prosser) Routledge 1998

Collier John & Collier Malcom; Visual Anthropology - Photography as a Research Method, University of New Mexico Press 1992

Banks, M., & Zeitlyn, D. (2015). Visual methods in social research. London: Sage.

Collier, M. (2001). Approaches to analysis in visual anthropology. In T. van Leeuwen & C. Jewitt (Hrsg.), Handbook of visual analysis (S. 35–60). London: Sage.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Th 10.06.2021 16:09