Reframing the Relations of Media, Knowledge, and Innovation in Society
Edited By Hubert Knoblauch, Mark D. Jacobs and René Tuma
Photographing as Creative and Communicative Action
THOMAS S. EBERLE
This book investigates how culture, communication, and creativity interplay with each other and which changes have been brought about by new information and communication technologies during the past decades. Photography is genuinely interconnected with all these topics. The aims of my paper are to analyze photographing as creative and communicative action from a phenomenological perspective and to reflect on whether and how practices have changed since switching from the analog to the digital mode.
Culture, communication, and creativity can be studied from a subjective and from an objective perspective, in Weber’s and Schutz’s terms. A sociology of knowledge approach should do both, as Berger and Luckmann (1966) have proposed. My preference here is to pursue my analysis from the subjective perspective of the actor, the photographer. My theoretical frame is phenomenological sociology (cf. Eberle, 2014a), and my empirical focus is creative action while making photos. I will analyze photographing first as action, second as creative action, and third as communicative action. A final concern is, fourth, how technological change has affected photographing and the communicative uses of photos.
Photographing as Action
The constitution of sense in Schutz’s theory of action
Following a distinction made by Max Weber (1978 ), Alfred Schutz (1967) emphasized the difference between the subjective and objective senses of action. Like Weber, Schutz was convinced that sociology must be conceived of as a theory of action and that it is crucial...
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