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BSOS-185: Society through the Visual

BSOS-185: Society through the Visual

IGNOU Solved Assignment Solution for 2022-23

If you are looking for BSOS-185 IGNOU Solved Assignment solution for the subject Society through the Visual, you have come to the right place. BSOS-185 solution on this page applies to 2022-23 session students studying in BAG, BSCG courses of IGNOU.

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Assignment Code: BSOS-185/ASST/TMA/July 2022-January 2023

Course Code: BSOS-185

Assignment Name: Society Through the Visual

Year: 2022-2023

Verification Status: Verified by Professor


Assignment A


Answer the following in about 500 words each. 2×20


1. What is ethnography and what is ethnographic film?

Ans) Ethnography : Purple Sarah According to a definition from 2013, "ethnography" is a methodology and "way to experiencing, interpreting, and expressing culture and society that informs and is informed by sets of distinct disciplinary objectives and theoretical ideas." The practise of collecting and presenting information on society, culture, and people is known as ethnography.


It is founded on the experiences of realities that "are as loyal as possible to the context, negotiations, and intersubjectivity through which the information was formed" that ethnographers have encountered. Every ethnography contains certain visual elements. The visual can be defined as the study of objects, movements, facial expressions, or any component of spatial behaviour.


The visual includes both what we can see and what we cannot. Some facets of civilization are so pervasive in our daily lives that we hardly ever notice them. Consider the problems with gender inequality related to the domestic division of labour, the restriction of gender to the gender binary, or the homonormativity of sexuality. A viewpoint known as heteronormativity views sex relationships between men and women as the normative and preferred form of sexual orientation. It makes the assumption that there are just two genders, male and female, and nothing else.


These were significant social problems. These problems were unnoticed in society until they were brought to our attention by the sexuality and feminism movements. Visuality and societal power dynamics are intimately related. The marginal is hidden, but the normative is readily apparent. The researcher "sees" both the obvious and the subtle in the field, taking into account all facets of culture such as artefacts, customs, and rituals. In the past, study of cultures based on written texts allowed us to "see" and "visualise" them. The text would occasionally be accompanied by images, and occasionally by movies.


Ethnographic Film: In general, ethnographic filmmaking comprises gathering data about the lives of particular individuals using film technology. However, there is a lot of ambiguity about what is meant by the phrase "ethnographic cinema." Simply said, it satisfies the requirements of ethnography on the one hand and filmmaking skills on the other. These requirements frequently clash, particularly because ethnographic films and videos aim to be both artistic and scientific at the same time. The primary difference between the two also stems from the fact that ethnography is mostly a textual depiction while film is an audio-visual one. David MacDougall claims that the two just exhibit alternative forms of knowledges, rather than perceiving one as superior to the other.


Together, it is asserted that an ethnographic film would:

  1. after engaging in a protracted field research, a detailed analysis and description of human behaviour is undertaken.

  2. Instead, than depicting people's conduct as weird and foreign, it makes a connection between observed behaviour and cultural standards.

  3. It exposes individuals in a comprehensive way, representing complete activities and complete relationships to facilitate pattern discovery and analysis.

  4. It avoids staging and is subject to ethical restrictions on portrayal.


2. Discuss the role of ethics in visual research

Ans) Visual methods in social research have become more mainstream over the last twenty years, driven in part by the profusion of digital devices with cameras that make access and production of images far easier, as well as the increased interest in and acceptability of arts-based methods. But while images have become more common, ethical guidelines have sometimes struggled to adapt, although organisations such as the International Visual Sociology Association and the British Sociological Association’s Visual Methods study group have made good attempts.


There are two key ethical issues which become complicated in visual research: informed consent, and anonymity. Informed consent is particularly challenging with photographs because it is difficult to ensure that every subject has given their consent to the photo being taken and used for research purposes. Researchers can work around this by using only photos that were taken in public spaces (where this is allowed) or avoiding photographs of people who are not explicitly participating in the research. In photovoice projects where participants take photos of the world around them, participants are given guidelines around informing photographic subjects about the purposes of the research, although it can be difficult to ensure this has taken place.


Anonymity is a challenge for the obvious reason that a photograph of a person or the places and spaces they frequent is difficult to anonymise. Moreover, strategies for making people anonymous, such as pixelating faces or putting black bars over their eyes to make them less recognisable, are more frequently associated with criminal activity! Strategies for dealing with this include waiving anonymity with the explicit consent of the research participants or avoiding taking or publishing identifiable images.


This is also a difficult issue in artworks that are not photographs: people often rightly want to be identified as the creators of their work. Researchers must negotiate the extent to which doing so might compromise anonymity of other data such as interview transcripts, and whether and in what circumstances having it known that they participated in this research might result in harm or reputational damage.


Copyright is another difficult issue. When someone creates an artwork in the context of a research project, who owns it? Legally, copyright generally lies with the creator of the work. To use that work in research and publications, the researcher needs the explicit permission (and sometimes, transfer of copyright) from the creator. In our recent project Communicating Chronic Pain, we used Creative Commons licensing to deal with this issue. Through Creative Commons, the creator of the work allows others to share and reuse it freely, subject to certain conditions such as attribution or non-commercial use. This is very useful for research as it enables creators to retain ownership of their work and researchers to reuse and reproduce it, but the nuances of Creative Commons licensing require careful explanation!


A final point is the desire many researchers have to showcase the work created in visual research projects. While the tangibility of this can be appealing and may enable the work to reach new audiences, we also need to consider the appropriateness of displaying such work. Are participants comfortable being represented as artists or photographers? Does the work have high aesthetic quality as well as high research quality? Are we as researchers qualified to judge this? Here, it can be helpful to allow participants themselves to choose which works they want to have displayed, and to involve others with professional arts expertise in the decisions of how and where to show the work.


Assignment B


Answer the following questions in about 250 words each. 3×10


3. Write a note on the contributions of Margaret Mead to Ethnographic film

Ans) The work of Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson among the Balinese after World War II indicated a change in this strategy. Mead held that the camera was unbiased in the positivist anthropological tradition of Herbert Spencer and Franz Boas. She asserted that the camera plays a similar role to the telescope in astronomy. Her use of the camera to capture actual occurrences was crucial.


Mead maintained that the interaction between the ethnologist, the filmmaking team, and the informants was crucial in her methodological approach to filmmaking. In some ways, this is a nod in the direction of reflexivity and taking into account the point of view of the informants. Mead said that it was challenging to avoid narrating the storey from the perspective of the director. She did, however, think that the informants might be able to contribute to the conception and editing of the movie. She trained the Balinese to serve as helpers and critics for her own work in Bali.

Mead saw usefulness in movies because they generated "masses of objective material" that could be revaluated in light of evolving theories. She thought that movies were more effective than words at capturing cultural change and specific cultural elements like dance and rituals. Mead shouldn't let his lack of photographic and filmmaking expertise stop him. This could be made up for by employing a talented cameraman under the ethnographer's direction.


Despite being a turning point in visual anthropology, Mead and Bateson's work on the Bali in 1942 did not go beyond using pictures as a record. Mead thought the camera was inconspicuous and invisible until it was configured to record automatically, like a "fly on the wall" Although Mead emphasised the value of including the informants, her work did not capture their perspective or their unique understanding of their society.


4. Bring out significance of social media

Ans) This is the age of smartphones and microblogging. Everything that we need to know is just a click away. Social media is the most widely used tool by all age groups today but is more popular among the youth and students. Keeping this in mind, researchers feel that social media can play a very important part in education. It can be used to reach out to many students and be highly effective. Many academic thinkers feel social media is a deteriorating agent for students, but it can be highly effective if used wisely. Instead of getting into the argument that social media is good or bad, we must find ways to use it for our benefit.


Today platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., are most widely used by( both) teachers, professors, and students, and they have become quite popular among them. Social media plays a very important role for students as it makes it easier for them to access and share information, get answers and connect with teachers. Students and teachers can connect and share content through social media platforms, using these platforms well. Social media platforms help their users to connect, share and give information and content to millions of others. The importance of social media cannot be ignored since it plays a crucial role in our lives today.

  1. Building a brand: Today, quality content, products, and services are easily accessible online. You can market your product online and build a brand.

  2. Customer support: Customers can read reviews and feedback before buying a product or service and make a smart choice.

  3. Social media is a great education tool.

  4. Through social media platforms, you can connect with your target audience.

  5. It is also a great way to access quality information.

  6. Social media can help you get the news and happenings in just a click.

  7. Social media also helps you connect with friends and relatives and enables you to make new friends.


5. Examine the relationship between photography and modernity

Ans) Modernism was both carried by and shaped by photography, which was born during a pivotal period. In his writings from the 1920s and 1930s, Walter Benjamin wrote extensively about the significance of photography as the primary modern method of communication. The "photo-eye" was regarded as revelatory since it brought facts into the open. Additionally, photography provided fresh perspectives on observing from various vantage points. Through the use of modern technology, this allowed us to see the world as we had never seen it before. Additionally, taking photographs helped to authenticate the sensation of "being there," which goes beyond merely travelling to a strange location and involves really recording that experience.


Photographs serve as records and documentation of the world as it changes. In this way, the act of since revelation was connected to both photography and film. Additionally, the development of print media throughout the first decades of the twentieth century had a significant impact on photography. Walter Benjamin developed the idea of photography as a democratic medium as a result of this. It may be said that at the start of the 20th century, the printed page stimulated imagination. Posters, photomontage, and photography magazines provided platforms for experimenting with different picture combinations and narrative-telling techniques.


Due to the objective nature of the camera's vision, one of the crucial aspects of photographic recordings is that even after editing, they still contain a substantial number of non-verbal truths. This enables its audience to create thoughts that have significantly altered societal thinking as well as to recreate a schematic reality. For instance, some of the earliest photographs of battle can be seen in Mathew Brady's historical archives, which were ordered by Abraham Lincoln. Brady documented the aftereffects of conflict, such as reports of dead soldiers and burned-out buildings, which painted a realistic picture of combat rather than just the exciting activities. Lewis Hine, a sociologist, also documented the arrival of Europeans as they appeared before becoming assimilated into American culture. His other kid-related artwork from the same period played a role in the adoption of the first child labour legislation.


Assignment C


Write a note on the following in about 100 words each. 5×6


6. Alfred Cort Haddon

Ans) One of the pioneers of contemporary British anthropology was Alfred Cort Haddon. Haddon's early work and study were in zoology and comparative anatomy, but he established anthropology as an observational science through his writing and teaching. He made a name for himself as an anthropology proponent at Cambridge for 30 years. "In 1888, Haddon travelled to the Torres Strait, a body of water separating New Guinea from Australia, with the intention of studying marine biology. Instead, he became enamoured with the locals and his interests turned to the study of human communities.


In 1893, he relocated to Cambridge, where he started lecturing on physical anthropology. He organised and oversaw the Cambridge anthropological expedition that travelled to the Torres Strait Islands, New Guinea, and Sarawak in 1898. During this voyage, some of the fundamental methods of anthropological fieldwork, including the use of genealogies, were developed.


7. Hypermedia

Ans) The user can click on other links from the original text thanks to hypertext. Hypermedia combines text, images, and links. It's a development of hypertext. A blog or website, for instance, are examples of hypermedia. Web browsing can therefore be used as an example of hypermedia. In addition, online journals, electronic libraries, and books can all be considered examples of hypermedia.


Hypermedia also includes electronic databases like JSTOR as examples. While some, like George Landow and Paul Delany, prefer the term hypermedia, Jakob Nielsen favours using the term hypertext for all forms of media. George Landow, however, has recently argued that the terms can be used interchangeably. Information can be accessed easily, and hypermedia is interactive. Users can choose information based on relevance, interest, availability, experience, curiosity, needs, and other factors. It offers an electronic platform for the facilitation of knowledge.


8. Reflexivity

Ans) In epistemology, and more specifically, the sociology of knowledge, reflexivity refers to circular relationships between cause and effect, especially as embedded in human belief structures. A reflexive relationship is bidirectional with both the cause and the effect affecting one another in a relationship in which neither can be assigned as causes or effects.


Within sociology more broadly—the field of origin—reflexivity means an act of self-reference where examination or action "bends back on", refers to, and affects the entity instigating the action or examination. It commonly refers to the capacity of an agent to recognise forces of socialisation and alter their place in the social structure. A low level of reflexivity would result in individuals shaped largely by their environment. A high level of social reflexivity would be defined by individuals shaping their own norms, tastes, politics, desires, and so on.


This is similar to the notion of autonomy. Within economics, reflexivity refers to the self-reinforcing effect of market sentiment, whereby rising prices attract buyers whose actions drive prices higher still until the process becomes unsustainable. This is an instance of a positive feedback loop. The same process can operate in reverse leading to a catastrophic collapse in prices.


9. Digital Ethnography

Ans) Digital Ethnography, also known as Virtual Ethnography or Mobile Ethnography is a tool for online or remote ethnographic research. Digital ethnography has its origins in traditional ethnography. It is a digital transformation of in-person Ethnography that leverages the power of smartphones, video and computers to help Researchers remotely generate rich, contextual insights into human needs, behaviours, journeys and experiences. Respondent recruitment is similar to recruiting for a Focus Group or Interview. You can use your respondents or work with a dedicated qualitative research recruiter.


You also incentivise research participants the same way  The main difference is that you design a set of tasks for respondents to complete asynchronously where they show you what they do themselves rather than have them tell you what they think they do. They are thus using their digital devices to record audio, text and video to show you and to tell you what they are doing, feeling and thinking.


10. Photo Essay

Ans) While photo elicitation and photo voice are employed as data collection techniques, the photo essay is a tool that aids in data presentation. Along with the previous two techniques, photo essays have grown in popularity in recent years. A photo essay is a type of narrative that tells a storey using photos and a brief written explanation. In contrast to a standard essay, a photo essay places more focus on the photographs, which can elicit feelings and comprehension from viewers and readers. Instead of using text, the author chooses to use images to communicate their ideas. A visual narrative is created by connecting the photos, which are a part of a series. In other terms, a photo essay is a collection of images that relate to one another and convey a narrative.


In addition to textual representation, several types of image-based data collection methods aid in the visualisation of information. However, using visual approaches can raise certain ethical questions. For instance, getting someone's permission before snapping their picture can be problematic. As a result, the majority of ethical recommendations published by associations would instruct researchers to either obtain informed consent or refrain from taking as many photos of people's faces as they can.

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