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Visual Communication

Visual Communication
Understanding Images in Media Culture

November 2019 | 304 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media and Culture provides a theoretical and empirical toolkit to examine implications of mediated images. It explores a range of approaches to visual analysis, while also providing a hands-on guide to applying methods to students' own work. The book:

  • Illustrates a range of perspectives, from content analysis and semiotics, to multimodal and critical discourse analysis
  • Explores the centrality of images to issues of identity and representation, politics and activism, and commodities and consumption
  • Brings theory to life with a host of original case studies, from celebrity videos on Youtube and civil unrest on Twitter, to the lifestyle branding of Vice Media and Getty Images
  • Shows students how to combine approaches and methods to best suit their own research questions and projects 

An invaluable guide to analysing contemporary media images, this is essential reading for students and researchers of visual communication and visual culture. 

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Understanding images in media culture: methodological considerations
Chapter 3: Envisioning the self in digital media
Chapter 4: Communicating visions of collective identity
Chapter 5: Ways of seeing difference beyond stereotypes
Chapter 6: Images of politicians in the public sphere
Chapter 7: The visual spectacles of protest and activism
Chapter 8: Picturing international conflict and war
Chapter 9: The visual attractions of advertising and promotional culture
Chapter 10: Visualizing lifestyles as commodities
Chapter 11: Brands as visual experiences
Chapter 12: Conclusion

This smart and engaging book introduces readers to some of the most pressing debates in visual communications studies. Effective in making often-opaque theories accessible, Aiello and Parry situate these debates in relation to a diverse toolkit of current research methods. Eighteen thickly-contextualized case studies skillfully illustrate the various steps students need to design their own projects. 

Wendy Kozol
Oberlin College and Conservatory

How can we understand images in media culture? Writing with clarity, insight and flair, Aiello and Parry show us that while there is no simple answer, there are many good analytical paths to pursue, demonstrating their value across no less than eighteen case studies – from political memes to photojournalism to Hollywood movie trailers and commercial imagery. Focusing on how visual communication is entangled with identities, politics and commodities, this book is not only an exemplary introduction to visual communication research: it is a significant and timely guide to the powers and properties of contemporary images.

Paul Frosh
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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