The eyes of modernity: John Grierson's sociology

Andrew Blaikie

in The Scots Imagination and Modern Memory

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2010 | ISBN: 9780748617869
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748653515 | DOI:
The eyes of modernity: John Grierson's sociology

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This chapter pursues the changing visualization of the social within the framework of an emerging documentary tradition. It notes that these essays on Adam Ferguson and John Grierson respectively, point to the range of ideas, indeed novel ways of seeing, subsumed under the rubric of a Scottish social imaginary. It opines that for all the vision displayed in the works of these Great Men, respectively the ‘Father of Modern Sociology’ and the ‘Father of Documentary’, neither captures the abiding significance of images of local community in understanding the meaning of nationhood. It considers more specifically Grierson's sociological ideas and how he brought these to bear in the perceptual encounter with industrial society.

Keywords: visualization; documentary tradition; Adam Ferguson; John Grierson; modernity; industrial society; nationhood

Chapter.  18310 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Regional and Area Studies

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