Call for Contributions

Announcing a special issue on sociological imagination on visual sociology
"Challenging Sociology Visually"

Visual Sociology is an organized attempt to introduce the study and use of images into the analytic tool kit of every sociologist. It is motivated by two assumptions. The first is that images encode data about values, norms and practices that are often inaccessible to other forms of collecting and reporting information. The second is that communicating research findings by using visual media can vastly expand and strengthen the rhetoric of sociological expression.

There are many examples of what working with images can add to the sociological enterprise. Documentary film, for example, enriches the study of interaction and the social psychology of emotion. Photoelicitation opens up channels of memory and knowledge that the traditional face-to-face interview rarely broaches. Native photography and video make it possible to more closely approximate how subjects of study actually live their lives and make decisions. Creative exploration of modes of visually displaying quantitative information make it possible to discern correlations in complex arrays of data that mathematical formulas may obscure. And all of this is just for starters.

The editors of Sociological Imagination , therefore, issue a call for papers for visual sociologists to rise to the challenge of demonstrating just how valuable their field is to the discipline of sociology as a whole. Papers are solicited for a special double issue that will make the case that visual analysis and communication are indispensable to doing sociology today. The focus of these papers may be primarily theoretical or empirical, but in either case visual imagery must be an integral part of their argument. All illustrations will be represented in black and white. Authors should expect to pay to have photos properly prepared for publication.

Papers, or more properly productions, that must be presented in cyberspace will be "published" on the web site of the International Visual Sociology Association, as part of the special issue of Sociological Imagination.

Deadline for papers is September 15, 2000, although early submission will be appreciated. Papers should be sent to:

John Grady, email:
Guest Editor, "Challenging Sociology Visually"
Department of Sociology
Wheaton College
Norton, MA 02766