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Theo van Leeuwen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195323306

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323306.001.0001

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The Visual Representation ofSocial Actors

The Visual Representation ofSocial Actors

Chapter:
(p.136) 8 The Visual Representation ofSocial Actors
Source:
Discourse and Practice
Author(s):

Theo Van Leeuwen (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195323306.003.0008

This chapter adapts the framework for analyzing the representation of social actors (cf. chapter 2) to the domain of visual communication. After discussing the critical import of analyzing orientational dimensions of visual imagery such as the gaze, social distance, and angle, the chapter discusses the exclusion of social actors from visual discourses, the way images can allocate roles to social actors, the way images can represent social actors specifically or generically, and as individuals (individualization) or groups (assimilation), and the ways in which images can categorize social actors (biological and cultural categorization). To bring out its potential for critical discourse analysis, the framework is used in an analysis of white representations of blacks.

Keywords:   critical discourse analysis, social actors, visual communication, racism, social distance, specific images, generic images, individualization, assimilation, biological categorization, cultural categorization

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