BOOK: Visual sociology by Harper Douglas

In Chapter 4 of Visual Sociology, Harper discusses two very different projects that combine “aerial” photography and “eye-level” viewpoints.  In the first part of the chapter, Harper focuses on the difference between aerial and eye-level views of farms; the second half of the chapter is focused on the urban space of the Piazza Maggiore in Bologna, Italy.  These are sharply contrasting spaces – one being rural, the other being urban, one having few inhabitants but still representing life and livelihood, the other example of the Piazza is one bustling with city life and energy.

After thoroughly reading Chapter 4, please answer the following questions:

1.  Harper describes the sharp distinction between viewing an industrial or privately-owned farm from the air and seeing it from “eye level.”  Write 2 paragraphs that describe this distinction and provide your own sociological analysis of the difference between these two “viewings” of the same space.  What is most interesting to you about the difference between aerial and eye level viewings?  What most surprised you about the difference?

2.  In the second half of the chapter, Harper focuses on a bustling, urban center in Bologna, Spain.  Look at the many different photos provided of various parts of the Piazza Maggiore.  Discuss Harper’s analysis of how urban life is captured in various kinds of photographs.  What do you see when you view these different photographs?  What are the largest differences between the Piazza photographs and those of farm life, both aerial and eye-level? 

3.  We have looked at many examples of photography as still images in Visual Sociology.  Considering the many different photographic still images we have viewed in this class, what are your most significant learnings about the use of photography to help shape people’s thinking about public spaces, whether rural or urban?

Remember to thoroughly answer each question; there should be 2 paragraphs for each of the three questions.  Watch your grammar, spelling,, punctuation capitalization.  Make sure your answers are clear and every sentence supports your central claim or thesis.  Also, you should include source citations that identify where you are taking any quotes or ideas from the Harper textbook. 

This post is due by Saturday, January 18 at 11:59 p.m.

 
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