Previous Chapter Chapter 91: Visual Anthropology Next Chapter

Lisa M. Vaughn & Katie E. Englert

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 91: Visual Anthropology

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Visual Anthropology
Visual anthropology

Visual anthropology is typically considered a sub-field of cultural anthropology that developed out of the study and production of ethnographic photography and film. However, there are some anthropologists who disagree and instead place it “squarely within the discipline of anthropology” (El Guindi, 2004, p. 19). Visual anthropology is useful for ethnographic research, media analysis, and studies of material culture. Visual anthropology also encompasses the anthropological study of representation, including areas such as performance, museums, art, and the production and reception of mass media. However, to date, photography and film have been the primary concerns of visual anthropologists and will be the main focus of this chapter.

Visual anthropology emphasizes the cultural meanings of visual expressions and visually recording cultural practices within an ethnographic ...

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