This article gives a snapshot on visual sociological methods, spatial semiotics, and visual culture to study the urban scene. Moreover, it would underline that we could treat observations and photographs as we do other information, such as interviews or demographic data which are specific to areas, neighbourhoods, streets, organizational boundaries and census tracts. We should note here that our snapshots attempt to be as close as we can get to what an ordinary person might see as they traverse a space. They are not attempts at artistic representation but are intended to document visual surveys. Indeed, visual sociology and attention to vernacular landscapes in the inner city allow us to see conflict, competition and dominance at a level not usually noticed and which can easily be related to the theories and descriptions of Lefebvre and Bourdieu. Read more on this piece published on the last issue of Urbanities: «Visual Approaches to Urban Ethnography»
This commentary is part of my ongoing reflection on ethnographic experience and visual methodologies. Some of the issues addressed here were discussed during a workshop (co-authored with Jerome Krase) held in Buenos Aires during the last ISA Visual Sociology Thematic Group conference of August 2012.