Embodiment and Materialization in "Neutral" Materials: Using Audio-Visual Analysis to Discern Social Representations


  • Anna Hedenus University of Gothenburg




audio-visual analysis, content analysis, embodiment, materialization, narrative analysis, occupational descriptions, sequential analysis, social representations, stereotypes


The use of audio-visual media puts bodies literally in focus, but there is as yet surprisingly little in the methodology literature about how to analyze the body in this kind of material. The aim of this article is to illustrate how qualitative audio-visual analysis, focusing on embodiment and materialization, may be used to discern social representations; this is of especial interest when studying materials which have an explicit ambition to achieve "neutrality" without reference to certain kinds of bodies. Filmed occupational descriptions—produced by the Swedish Employment Agency (SEA)—are analyzed and discussed. The examples presented in the article illustrate how various forms of audio-visual analysis—content analysis, sequential analysis and narrative analysis—can be used to reveal how social representations of occupations and practitioners are embodied and materialized in these films.

URN: http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0114-fqs160139


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Author Biography

Anna Hedenus, University of Gothenburg

Anna HEDENUS attained her PhD in sociology in 2011 at the Department of Sociology and Work Science, University of Gothenburg, where she is now affiliated as a senior lecturer. Her research concerns questions about self-selection and selection on the labor market; job satisfaction and attitudes towards work; and the centrality and meanings of work in people's lives. She is currently doing research on aspects of surveillance in relation to job recruitment and the use of social media. In her previous research she also dealt with issues regarding the social aspects of money, consumption and identity.




How to Cite

Hedenus, A. (2015). Embodiment and Materialization in "Neutral" Materials: Using Audio-Visual Analysis to Discern Social Representations. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 17(1). https://doi.org/10.17169/fqs-17.1.2404



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