On television, on the glossy pages of magazines, on the billboards we speed past, images fill our visual landscape.
But what effect do the images that appear in the media have on us? How do they influence our judgments, our economic choices, and our assumptions about ourselves and each other? To what extent do they hold up a mirror to cultural values about gender, race, authority, sex, or violence? How do we decode their messages to separate what’s false from what’s not? And how can we immunize ourselves against their effects?
These are questions that media critics, sociologists, psychologists, journalists, teachers, parents, and others have struggled with. But it is up to all of us to confront and examine these images for ourselves. One blog, Sociological Images: Seeing Is Believing, provides images for discussion in sociology and other classes — or for anyone interested in coming face to face with the images that bombard us daily. Visitors can browse the categories of images this blog has collected, which include violence, education, gender, race/ethnicity, and many more. A word of caution — not all images are workplace safe and some may give offense.
Seeing Is Believing offers a fascinating — and at times disturbing — foray into the world of media images. Presented with minimal text, these images at once provoke and invite us to decipher their messages about society and ourselves.