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.
How can we understand images in media culture? Writing with clarity, insight and flair, Aiello and Parry show us that while there is no simple answer, there are many good analytical paths to pursue, demonstrating their value across no less than eighteen case studies – from political memes to photojournalism to Hollywood movie trailers and commercial imagery.
Organised around the themes of identities, politics and commodification, this book offers multiple conceptual insights into how images are created, circulated, seen, sold, modified and destroyed. Its themes and arguments are grounded in a series of detailed and clearly written examples, which also explore the methodological implications of approaching images as forms of visual communication. All this adds up to a must-read for anyone interested in contemporary visual culture.
Compelling and wide-reaching… Aiello and Parry provide us with a sense of how persuasive the visual is today and how it insinuates itself into all aspects of life, from everyday interactions to the dramas of high politics, from advertising to crisis diplomacy, and from selfies to national celebrations.
Aiello and Parry have chosen to focus on one important visual site: mediated images, according to three theoretically rich approaches: identity, politics and commodities. Each chapter is supported by their own case studies of contemporary visual phenomena, such as iconicity in the #BlackLivesMatter movement, the discursive strategies of the opening title sequence from the Netflix series Orange Is the New Black, and the design strategies that distinguish the website Vice.com… their project will be welcome not only to many classrooms but to the field at large.
Giorgia Aiello and Katy Parry present the subject of visual communication in various contexts, not avoiding difficult, ethically demanding and contemporary topics. They show the power of images in the contemporary media sphere.
...it marks the maturation of the visual research discipline. Aiello and Parry’s focused attention on the way mediated images operate culturally ensures that their project will be welcome not only to many classrooms but to the field at large.
The broad conceptual and empirical spectrum covered by Aiello and Parry is truly impressive. They provide us with a sense of how persuasive the visual is today and how it insinuates itself into all aspects of life, from everyday interactions to the dramas of high politics, from advertising to crisis diplomacy, and from selfies to national celebrations.
They consciously address diversity, inclusion, gender and stereotypes. The relevance of the book also lies in encouraging and supporting lecturers to include visual communication in their curriculum: The world, be it online or offline, is shaped by images and it is necessary that these, along with their Forms of origin and their scope for interpretation can be read and understood. Although the term "visual literacy" is not included in the index, Aiellos and Parry's book is aimed precisely at this competence.
Interesting, creative and insightful
It is a valuable book to help me understand different options in doing research with children & youth. It may influence my teaching in a more indirect way. My courses are not specific enough for the book to be a main literature resource.
Broadens student appreciation of the range and impact of multiple media platforms in relation to communication in a changing H&SC landscape of provision
Due to the workload is too high for the students, this book was in the reading list. But it does not mean the book is less important. Personally, I highly recommend this book to student in social media program.
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