Visual studies in social science

In view of the outstanding role of visual culture in present-day social sciences and cultural studies against a backdrop of a supposed iconic or pictorial turn, this key research area aims at advancing theories, concepts and methods of social sciences that allow for an improved analysis of visual dimensions of social reality compared to past approaches. Research focuses on the dynamic relationship between image, knowledge and culture in two core areas: theories and analyses of visual culture, and visual methodology.

Particular importance lies on the analysis of image-related practices in global and local public spaces. Current topics of great social relevance such as press photography, electoral campaigns, art markets, fan culture or city advertising are studied in research projects. Analyses of old and new ubiquitous visual practices in private and semi-public (new) media are an additional research focus. Not least, conducted empirical research as well as theory oriented research aim at the innovative advancement of methodological approaches across different disciplines, which facilitates an appropriate understanding of the relationships between the production, distribution and reception, as well as the media-related properties, of still and moving pictures.

Further information (in German):