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Title: The meaning and psychological significance of family photographic collections
Author: Cronin, Órla Siobhán Thesèse
ISNI:       0000 0001 3397 3130
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1996
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The first study explored domestic photographers' conceptions of the meaning and function of photographs in their lives and in the lives of their families. The second study compared the conceptions of domestic photographers regarding the meaning and functions of family photographs with those of professional photographers. It was found that professional photographers are more committed to the use of family photographs to portray family unity to the outside world, and therefore could be considered to be reinforcing social norms governing the representation of families in photographs. Professionals tend to see themselves as 'capturing' reality, and this lends weight and credibility to their role in promoting the rhetoric of 'happy families'. The third study extended the analysis of the role of photographs in the family system to consider the manifest content of photographic collections. Regularities were identified in the photographs which indicate that family photographic collections are influenced by norms of representation governing the depiction of families. The manifest content of family photographs illustrates the importance of the 'special' relationships which photographs have to time. It also illustrates that the 'ideal' family, as portrayed by photographic collections, is one which appears happy and cohesive, which is leisured and cosmopolitan, which is child-centred, which has a clear identity which bounds it from its environment, and which is enacted through specialisation of the roles of family members in relation to each other, particularly in terms of power and intimacy.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Psychology