Reading visual images
Reading visual images

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Reading visual images

Family meal photographs: 1930s and 1990s

Activity 5

As a final exercise, look at the photographs given in Figures 9 and 10, which depict family meals in the late 1930s and the 1990s. Using concepts about gender, class and national identity, combined with the approaches outlined in this course, note down what you think are the major differences between the two pictures.

Figure 9
Figure 9 Hulton Getty Picture Collection, 1938: ‘Family at lunch’
Figure 10
Figure 10 Martin Parr, 1995: ‘Bongo burger bar, Windsor Safari Park’

4.2.1 Summary

  • Visual images such as photographs offer ‘evidential traces’ of what they represent.

  • Such images are neither ‘all true’ nor ‘all false’.

  • Images have to be used together and with other kinds of evidence in social science.


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