Snapshot Versions of Life (Paperback)

Snapshot Versions of Life By Richard Chalfen Cover Image

Snapshot Versions of Life (Paperback)

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Snapshot Versions of Life is an important foray into the culture of photography and home life from an anthropologist’s perspective. Examining what he calls “Home Mode” photography, Richard Chalfen explores snapshots, slide shows, family albums, home movies, and home videos, uncovering what people do with their photos as well as what their personal photos do for them.
    Chalfen’s “Polaroid People” are recognizable—if ironically viewed—relatives, uncles, aunts, and All-American kids. As members of “Kodak Culture” they watch home movies, take pictures of newborn babies, and even, in their darker moments, scratch out the faces of disliked relatives in group photographs. He examines who shoots these photos and why, as well as how they think (or don’t) of planning, editing, and exhibiting their shots. Chalfen’s analysis reveals the culturally structured behavior underlying seemingly spontaneous photographic activities. 
Richard Chalfen is professor emeritus of anthropology at Temple University and past president of the Society of Visual Anthropology. He is senior scientist at the Center in Media and Child Health at Children's Hospital Boston/Harvard Medical School. His publications include Turning Leaves and many widely cited articles.
Product Details ISBN: 9780879723880
ISBN-10: 0879723882
Publisher: Popular Press 2
Publication Date: March 20th, 2008
Pages: 222
Language: English
“An important contribution not just to the study of American culture but to the development of research on media use and social interaction.”—Michael Griffin, Journal of Communication

“Chalfen’s work does represent an important contribution to
the analysis of visual communication.”—Stacy Rowe, SVA
[Society of Visual Anthropology] Newsletter



“Those who work under other of the encompassing rubrics that
dominate intellectual discussion today, and neglect what
cannot be written down (discourse, ethnomethodology…
hermeneutics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics), could benefit
from this book and carry it further by following up the leads
into verbal communication. … [A] valuable contribution to the
ethnography of communication.”—Dell Hymes, Language in
Society