Review: Thomas S. Eberle (Ed.) (2017). Fotografie und Gesellschaft. Phänomenologische und wissenssoziologische Perspektiven [Photography and Society: Approach from Phenomenological Perspectives and the Sociology of Knowledge]

  • Dirk vom Lehn King's College London
Keywords: phenomenology, production aesthetics, reception aesthetics, visual perception, visuality, sociology of knowledge


"Photography and Society," edited by Thomas S. EBERLE contributes to the burgeoning debates about visuality and visual perception. The 25 chapters of the volume draw on Alfred SCHÜTZ's phenomenology to consider photography as a social phenomenon. They are concerned with the practice of taking and producing photographs as well as with the viewing and interpretation of photographs. Thus they deal with production and reception aesthetics. The analyses are also used to reflect on the status of photographs and their relationship to the Wirkwelt [world of working]. The book is notable for encompassing a wide range of theoretical and empirical analyses and including a large number of high-quality photographs. The inclusion of these photographs does not serve illustrative purposes but is critical to the analyses presented in the volume. I recommend "Photography and Society" to sociologists with an interest in debates about visuality and the analysis of visual perception. Some knowledge of the sociology of knowledge helps with the reading of the book. But the book can also be used to learn about the opportunities offered by the sociology of knowledge.


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Author Biography

Dirk vom Lehn, King's College London
I am a Reader in organisational sociology at King’s Business School (King’s College London). My research is primarily concerned with people’s experience of exhibits and exhibitions in museums and with occupational practice of optometrists. It draws on ethnomethodology and conversation analysis (EMCA) as well as on recent developments in the analysis of video-recordings. At KCL I teach courses on the undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. The courses explore interweaving of technology with the organisation of market interaction.

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