Chapter 3 - Mapping Society - A Sense of Place

Critical Thinking

1. How can visual methods be used to enhance the sociological understanding of social spaces?

2. How might a researcher approach places of profound significance to others?

3. Can visual research empower marginalised groups?

4. How can objects be used to embody (sometimes literally) attributes of shared social meanings encompassing specific locations?

5. How valid is the term traumascape?

6. Brogan Bunt’s interactive map of Halfeti,1 the Turkish village that has been flooded

7. To what extent is Bunt’s ‘salvaged’ village a ‘real’ place or a purely virtual space? How is place constructed?

8. Benjamin introduced the concept of ‘dialectical images’. Look at the examples given in the chapter ( and below). How useful is the concept for an understanding of social change? Give examples of possible dialectical images/objects in your current environment.

9. Under the surface of everyday life is the tension between opposite forces –
observable in the layers of our current social reality is the accretion of others. In your home city, town or village what signs of previous ways of life can be seen? Do these signs coexist or are they accorded quite different social spaces? (e.g. some areas are preserved as museums and new areas are built away from them).


1 Bunt, B (2001) Halfeti: Only the Fishes Shall Visit (interactive site)

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