Looking at Whales: Narration and the Organization of Visual Experience

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While interest in visual representations of animals is well established in visual sociology, this article explores another set of possibilities connected with practices of looking at animals. In particular, I examine the social organization of visual experience in whale watching, with a focus on the role of narration. Using detailed transcriptions of whale watch narration as data, I argue that naturalists produce publicly witnessed trip sightings by coordinating what can be seen in the water with understandings of whales as objects of scientific research and environmental concern.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-806
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Contemporary Ethnography
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Urban Studies


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