You are here

Visual Communication

Visual Communication
Understanding Images in Media Culture

December 2019 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd

Visual Communication: Understanding Images in Media and Culture provides a theoretical and empirical toolkit to examine implications of mediated images. It explores a range of approaches to visual analysis, while also providing a hands-on guide to applying methods to students' own work. The book:

  • Illustrates a range of perspectives, from content analysis and semiotics, to multimodal and critical discourse analysis
  • Explores the centrality of images to issues of identity and representation, politics and activism, and commodities and consumption
  • Brings theory to life with a host of original case studies, from celebrity videos on Youtube and civil unrest on Twitter, to the lifestyle branding of Vice Media and Getty Images
  • Shows students how to combine approaches and methods to best suit their own research questions and projects 

An invaluable guide to analysing contemporary media images, this is essential reading for students and researchers of visual communication and visual culture. 

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Understanding images in media culture: Methods and approaches
Chapter 3: Visions of the Self
Chapter 4: Making groups visible on the global stage
Chapter 5: Ways of seeing difference beyond stereotypes
Chapter 6: Images of politicians in the public sphere
Chapter 7: The visual spectacles of protest and activism
Chapter 8: Picturing international conflict and war
Chapter 9: The visual attractions of advertising and promotional culture
Chapter 10: Visualizing lifestyles for sale
Chapter 11: Brands as visual experiences
Chapter 12: Conclusion

This smart and engaging book introduces readers to some of the most pressing debates in visual communications studies. Effective in making often-opaque theories accessible, Aiello and Parry situate these debates in relation to a diverse toolkit of current research methods. Eighteen thickly-contextualized case studies skillfully illustrate the various steps students need to design their own projects. 

Wendy Kozol
Oberlin College and Conservatory
Key features

Need 1: Visual culture is proliferating online. Students need teaching tools that reflect this and give them the tools to analyze these images in their own media experience.

Meeting need: Reviewers commented on the inclusion across the book of examples and case studies from digital and social media as strength that sets this book apart.


Need 2: Learning from a variety of approaches common in media studies research.

Meeting need: Built for media studies and drawing on examples resonant with media students, each case study provides a 'toolkit' approach walking students through an analytic technique or method, and how it can be applied to a particular image or visual context.

Preview this book

For instructors

To inquire about the availability of this title for review (print and/or digital), please contact your local sales representative or call (800) 818-7243.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9781412962247

ISBN: 9781412962230