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THE VISUAL POLITICS OF PORTRAYING POWER: IMAGES OF THE POLICE AND MILITARY IN STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY Print E-mail

Michaelene Cox

Abstract

Visualizing power is an imaginative and multifaceted undertaking. Those who can use imagery to harness and transform cultural expectations about authority can influence how societies face current and future challenges. For instance, we find a concern with security to be one of the most pressing issues at the individual, state and international levels. Perceptions of law enforcement and the armed services certainly have bearing on our confidence in those institutions to safeguard lives, property and cultural values. We understand that impressions mirror reality to varying degree and are manipulated by a myriad of forces, including nonverbal communication. It is valuable then to consider the nature of images furnished today for public consumption. Photographs from one of the world’s largest electronic image banks reveal attributes of contemporary representations of the military and police. Although such collections have not been mined by many scholars yet, the study herein finds room for considerable investigation and reflection across disciplines about the role of stock photography in shaping and reflecting cultural norms and identities.

Key Terms: visual culture, photography, portraits of authority, military, police

Michaelene Cox, PhD, is Associate Professor at Illinois State University (Department of Politics and Government). Contact address: mcox(at)ilstu.edu.

Cite this article:

Cox Michaelene. THE VISUAL POLITICS OF PORTRAYING POWER: IMAGES OF THE POLICE AND MILITARY IN STOCK PHOTOGRAPHY. Innovative Issues and Approaches in Social Sciences, vol.9, no.1:276-297, DOI:http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2016-no1-art15

Digital Object Identifier(DOI):

http://dx.doi.org/10.12959/issn.1855-0541.IIASS-2016-no1-art15



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