Visual Sociology and Experiential Learning

Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Location: Hörsaal 13 (Juridicum)
Distributed Paper
Choon Lee CHAI, Red Deer College, Canada
With the proliferation of digital photography, more and more students are taking pictures of their everyday life and share it with their family and friends. In this paper, the use of photographs as a learning tool is analyzed. The author modifies the Photovoice approach and makes it a part of course assignments. In the assignment, students are required to carefully take photographs that they think can be related to sociological concepts they learn class. Students will then interpret the photographs, in the form of a "Sense Poem", or according to the SHOWeD approach (Wang, 1999), and make connections to sociological concepts they learn. Students will also incorporate personal meanings to their analysis of the photographs. This process of relating sociological concepts to the photographs often elicits personal emotion and meanings from students. In the process, students achieve personal transformation intellectually and emotionally, and visual sociology is made a form of experiential learning.