Introduction to Interpretive Videoanalysis of Social Situations
2 Development and History of Visual Analyses
Precursors of Visual Analyses
2Development and History of Visual Analyses
This chapter deals with the precursors of video analysis. In addition, it reflects the influence of technical innovations and their retroactive effect on the evolution of videography.
In Chapter 1 we provided an overview of the process of video analysis. Now we take a step back and locate videography in a tradition of visual analyses. Although the analysis of audiovisual data as a method of social science research is quite new, it can draw on amazingly long ranks of precursors. They include, without doubt, ethnographic film and the social science analyses of photos and films that were generated in recent years in the fields of anthropology, visual studies, and visual sociology. Admittedly, we cannot reconstruct a unilinear history here, but rather various developmental paths that ultimately lead to videography. We would like to trace some of the most relevant lines of development involving the use of visual recordings for analysis of communicative actions. A more comprehensive historical presentation of the use of cinematic materials is found in Ramón Reichert’s book Kino der Humanwissenschaften (2007).
Before addressing the significance of videos, we must take a quick look at their forerunners: films and pictures. Thus, for example, shortly after photographs were invented in the late 1830s, they were employed for analysis of facial expressions. Several decades later, Charles Darwin, in his book The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), used photos to compare the ways in...
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