Snapshot Versions of Life

Snapshot Versions of Life

by Richard Chalfen

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Snapshot Versions of Life by Richard Chalfen

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. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780879728748
Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press
Publication date: 09/02/2008
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 222
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

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.

Table of Contents

CHAPTER 1 Kodak Culture and Home Mode Communication
CHAPTER 2 Social Organization, Kodak Culture, and Amateur Photography
CHAPTER 3 Cinéma Naìveté: The Case of Home Movies
CHAPTER 4 Snapshot Communication: Exploring the Decisive Half Minute
CHAPTER 5 Tourist Photography: Camera Recreation
CHAPTER 6 Interpreting Home Mode Imagery: Conventions for Reconstructing a Reality
CHAPTER 7 Functional Interpretations
CHAPTER 8 Home Mode Imagery in Other Communicative Contexts
CHAPTER 9 Conclusions and New Questions
APPENDIX Home Mode Questionnaire

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