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Visual Anthropology: Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats

by Gareth Davey
Visual Anthropology ()

Abstract

This article briefly examines visual anthropology’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, in the form of a SWOT analysis. The aim is to comment on the subdiscipline’s current status, raise awareness of challenges faced and ident- ify possibilities for the future. Visual anthropology’s strengths and opportunities include its increased acceptance by mainstream anthropology; a diverse and inter- disciplinary research agenda; synergy between academic and applied perspectives; and the potential of new visual methods. Weaknesses and threats include difficulty defining the subdiscipline; limited collaboration (for many research articles are single-authored); and dominance of American scholars. The implications of these factors for the future of visual anthropology are also discussed.

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