El Guindi provides a comprehensive guide to the methods of visual anthropology and the use of film in cross-cultural research and ethnography. She shows how visual media - photographic, filmic, interactive - is now an accepted part of the anthropological process, a vital tool that reflects and produces knowledge about the range of cultures and about culture itself. It preserves the integrity of people, objects, and events in their cultural context, and expands our horizons beyond the reach of memory culture. El Guindi places visual anthropology within an empirically-based, analytic framework, built on systematic observation, identifying the research cycle that begins with data gathering and leads to visual ethnographic construction that is anthropological in method, process, and product. She explains how indigenous, professional, and amateur forms of pictorial/auditory materials are grounded in personal, social, cultural, and ideological contexts, and describes the non-Western critique of the Western traditions of visual anthropology. Her book is an excellent guide for ethnographic research, and for film and other media instruction concerned with cross-cultural representation.
Essential Method and Theory