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Visual Sociology in a Discipline of Words: Racial Literacy, Visual Literacy and Qualitative Research Methods


This article analyzes the limitations of qualitative research methods that over-privilege textual analysis in North American sociology graduate programs. I argue that visual literacy, as a methodological tool, is neglected and marginalized in the graduate curriculum. Training in visual culture including the use of photography, film and video, can contribute to theoretically grounded empirical research on race and racism. A form of academic apartheid continues to restrict the types of qualitative research methods that are authorized and regularly taught in graduate programs in sociology.

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