Informations and abstract
Keywords: visual studies, visual sociology, visual ethnography, ethnography, photography
The main objective of this paper is (to contribute) to evidence the perspectives and the potentials that Visual Studies, particularly the usage of photography, have for social studies/research. In order to better understand the way in which these studies have evolved (from a historical point of view), the main classical anthropological research and research of the Chicago School in sociology are evidenced. In these researches photographical material has been used in order to illustrate texts or predominantly for documentary usage. Furthermore the usage of photography related to the method of participant observation is discussed, as well as the relation between the observer and the observed persons and an update regarding the studies that are considered to be the most interesting ones is given, like for instance the subjective production of images or the photo-stimulus method, who both give possible applications in the various sociological fields of interest. In the conclusion, apart from some considerations about photography as fixed imagery and about changes in visual representation caused by digitization, the necessity for a major inte-gration of these usages within mainstream research is supported, especially in Italy, where visual studies nowadays are used almost only by small groups of researchers and experts.