Teaching sociology with images

‘Thy will be done’, teaching with images and the unconscious functions of sociology.

Johann Graaff, Sociology, University of Cape Town

The visual image marks a transition point between the rational and the irrational in teaching/ learning. An image, as used here, is not a visual representation of a rational process in the way that organograms, diagrams or maps are. An image is symbolic in the sense that it points beyond itself into the unconscious. Such a symbolic dimension is highly significant for sociology since the acquisition of certain basic theoretical ‘thinking frames’ by students entail crucial affective transformations.