We Choose What we See

Chapter 2 of Sturken and Cartwright’s book— Viewers Make Meaning

Images are all viewed through paradigms of the viewer and the context

An image can be interpreted in a multitude of ways. This is interpretation is dependent upon many relative factors.

  • images interpellate viewers
  • critical thinking
  • intervisuality—interaction of modes of visuality
  • aesthetics based on taste
  • cultural capital, habitus
  • ideology
  • cultural appropriation

We interpret images in three ways

1Dominant-hegemonic reading—interpret message in unquestioning manner

2 Negotiated reading

3Oppositional reading


1 code & conventions of a given culture/system of representation 
2viewers & their interpretations/beliefs/values/experiences


4 producer/image itself






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