|Author(s)||Paul ten Have|
|Title||Teaching students observational methods: visual studies and visual analysis|
|Tag(s)||EMCA, Teaching, Observation, Visual|
My experiences in teaching classes in ‘observation’ for sociology students is used to explore aspects of doing visual studies and visual analysis, using the direct or camera-aided observation of pedestrian traffic as a case in point. The students had to do some observational assignments ‘out in the streets’ and report on their experiences and findings, trying to make sociological sense of both. I fed them some ideas from Goffman in order to help them ‘see’ things in a sociological way. I also tried to unsettle their common sense sociology and methodology by confronting them with some ethnomethodological notions derived from Eric Livingston. In so doing I wanted to focus their attention on the visual methods actually used to organize pedestrian traffic ‘on the ground’, rather than restricting themselves to a structural overview ‘from above’, or ‘from aside’.