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1 Burnside Art- Theory and Criticism

Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture


Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Ideal for students studying visual culture for the first time, Practices of Looking explores the ways we use and understand images. Truly interdisciplinary, this comprehensive and engaging introduction can be used in courses across a range of disciplines including media and film studies, communications, art history, and photography. Marita Sturken and Lisa Cartwright examine the diverse range of recent approaches to visual analysis and lead students through key theories on visual culture, providing explanations of the fundamentals of these theories and presenting visual examples of how they function. Using over 175 illustrations, they examine how images--paintings, prints, photographs, film, television, video, advertisements, news images, the Internet, digital images, and images from science--gain meaning in different cultural arenas, from art and commerce to science and the law. They also consider how these images travel globally and in distinct cultures; how they are an integral and important aspect of our lives. The images are analyzed in relation to a range of cultural and representational issues (desire, power, the gaze, bodies, sexuality, ethnicity) and methodologies (semiotics, marxism, psychoanalysis, feminism, postcolonial theory). Central topics such as ideology, the concept of the spectator, the role of reproduction in visual culture, the mass media and the public sphere, consumer culture, and postmodernism are explained in depth.


Features poetry with the strong rhythms loved by very young children — accompanied by lively illustrations. Interest

About the Author

Marita Sturken is Associate Professor at the University of Southern California, teaching cultural studies, popular culture, and issues of technology and culture. She previously worked as a critic in independent film and video, and is the author of; Tangled Memories: The Vietnam War, the AIDS Epidemic and the Politics of Remembering, University of California Press (1997) and Thelma and Louise, British Film Institute Modern Classics Series (2000). Lisa Cartwright is Associate Professor at the University of Rochester, and Director of the Susan B. Institute for Gender and Women's Studies. She is the author of Screening the Body: Tracing Medicine's Visual Culture and co-editor of The Visible Woman: Imaging Technologies, Gender and Science

Table of Contents


1 Practices of Looking: Images, Power, and Politics


The Myth of Photographic Truth

Images and Ideology

How We Negotiate the Meaning of Images

The Value of Images

Image Icons

2 Viewers Make Meaning

Producers' Intended Meanings

Aesthetics and Taste

Reading Images as Ideological Subjects

Encoding and Decoding

Appropriation and Oppositional Readings

Re-appropriations and Counter-Bricolage

3 Spectatorship, Power, and Knowledge

Psychoanalysis and the Image Spectator

The Gaze

Changing Concepts of the Gaze

Discourse, the Gaze, and the Other

Power/Knowledge and Panopticism

The Gaze and The Exotic

4 Reproduction and Visual Technologies

Realism and the History of Perspective

Realism and Visual Technologies

The Reproduction of Images

Reproduced Images as Politics

Visual Technologies and Phenomenology

The Digital Image

Virtual Space and Interactive Images

5 The Mass Media and the Public Sphere

Critiques of the Mass Media

The Mass Media and Democratic Potential

Television and the Question of Sponsorship

Media and the Public Sphere

New Media Cultures

6 Consumer Culture and the Manufacturing of Desire

Consumer Society

Commodity Culture and Commodity Fetishism

Addressing the Consumer

Images and Text

Envy, Desire, and Glamour

Belonging and Difference

Bricolage and Counter-Bricolage

The Brand

Anti-ad Practices

7 Postmodernism and Popular Culture




The Copy, Pastiche, and Institutional Critique

Popular Culture: Parody and Reflexivity

Addressing the Postmodern Consumer

8 Scientific Looking, Looking at Science

Images as Evidence

Scientific Looking

Images in Biomedicine: Sonograms and Fetal Personhood

Scientific Images as Advocacy and Politics

Vision and Truth

Genetics and the Digital Body

Popular Science

9 The Global Flow of Visual Culture

Television Flow: From the Local to the Global

The Critique of Cultural Imperialism

Markets of the Third World

Alternative Circulations: Hybrid and Diasporic Images

The Internet: Global Village or Multinational Corporate Marketplace?

The World Wide Web as Private and Public Sphere

The Challenge of the Internet to Privacy, Censorship, and Free Speech

The Place of the Visual in the New Millennium



Each chapter ends with Notes and Further Readings

Product Details

An Introduction to Visual Culture
Sturken, Marita
null, Marita
Sturken, Marta
null, Lisa
Cartwright, Lisa
Cartwright, Lisa
Oxford University Press
Oxford ; New York
Mass media
Communication | Visual Communication
Edition Description:
berkshire leather black 9094A
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
College/higher education:
188 illus.
9.88x6.62x.73 in. 1.74 lbs.
Age Level:

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Art » History and Criticism
Arts and Entertainment » Art » Theory and Criticism
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture
History and Social Science » Sociology » General

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"Synopsis" by , Features poetry with the strong rhythms loved by very young children — accompanied by lively illustrations. Interest
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