ERIC Number: ED218632
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
American Life as Represented by Robert Frank's "The Americans": A Study of Self-Projections.
Nesterenko, Alexander; Smith, C. Zoe
A two-phase study was conducted to compare individuals' perceptions of American life with their perceptions of Robert Frank's "The Americans," a book of photographs. In the first phase, a projective technique was used to elicit verbal responses about a sample of Frank's photographs. In the second phase, a representative sample of opinion statements from the subjects' protocols were used for a Q-methodological study of perceptions. Six students from a photojournalism class conducted interviews with 103 liberal arts students and showed them 1 photograph from each of 8 areas--patriotism, povery, racism, urban life, highways, crowds, interiors of public places, and affected women--in 3 steps: (1) 5-second exposure; (2) indefinite exposure for as long as it held the subject's interest; and (3) story construction in which the subject constructed a story from all the photographs. In the second phase, the subjects Q-sorted the opinion statements from phase 1 according to three conditions: to represent what they believed the photographs communicate about American life, to imagine they had a set of photographs that depicted American life as they saw it, and to imagine they had a set of photographs that depicted American life in an ideal sense. Results indicated that the subjects rejected Frank's photographs not because they were unrepresentative of American life but because they evoked feelings of alienation. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Frank (Robert)
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982). Photographs may not reproduce clearly.