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This paper will give a conceptual outline to explore the social and cultural meaning of photographs. The primary question is to explore what ways in which one can use the photograph as research material to delineate the social and cultural reality of a period. However, the methodological sophistication of contemporary social science and humanities practice makes it a challenging task to analyze photographs. The paper, therefore, while bringing various conceptual and theoretical insights on the photograph will explore a composite and critical readings on the facets associated with the photographic text—which is being mediated by social and technologically determinisms. The paper argues that the photographic text is discursively formulated and, as a source, can be used to understand the eminence of modern consciousness and mentalities as well as the entrenched social relations of the society.

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How to Cite
Parayil, S. K. (2019). History and Photography: Visual Signifiers and Social Meaning. History Research Journal, 5(6), 2363-2373. Retrieved from