Introduction to Visual Communication in the Age of Social Media: Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodological Challenges

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

Introduction to Visual Communication in the Age of Social Media: Conceptual, Theoretical and Methodological Challenges


  • Uta Russmann Department of Communication, Marketing & Sales, FHWien der WKW University of Applied Sciences for Management & Communication, Austria
  • Jakob Svensson School of Arts & Communication (K3), Malmö University, Sweden


Abstract  This thematic issue of Media and Communication focuses attention on the shift towards visual images on social media as well as the transformation of visual communication which has occurred within the online ecology of social media platforms. The sharing of images is becoming an integral part of the social media experience today, and given that social media platforms are the prime locus for sociability—at least among young people in the West—this shift towards visuals arguably transforms how we relate to each other and the world around us, as well as how we perceive and construct our sense of self. For researchers, this raises conceptual, theoretical and methodological challenges. This thematic issue presents six articles as well as a book review on visual communication in social media focusing on developing a conceptual apparatus and precise definitions of objects and practices of study as well as contributions that address and discuss the methodological challenges as well as their potential solutions. The idea was to synergize research from a wide variety of communication-related disciplines on this rather new topic.


Keywords  images; Instagram; Facebook; practices; qualitative methods; Twitter; visual communication; visual social media


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v5i4.1263


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