Photographing Guests in a Soup Kitchen: Examining the Application of Exchange Theory | Blinn-Pike | Visual Ethnography

Photographing Guests in a Soup Kitchen: Examining the Application of Exchange Theory

Lynn Blinn-Pike

Abstract


This ethnographic project explored the question: How are the photographer and the homeless impacted by their exchanges over one year of photography in an urban soup kitchen? In this study, I explored how the exchange process played out when the subjects were homeless and guests at a church-based soup kitchen and I, the photographer, was a middle-class, middle-aged, White, female professor. Exchange theory was applied here because of the metaphor between producing and consuming photos of the homeless and the ethics of consuming the homeless being portrayed. Elements of critical and confessional tales are included to describe my feelings from initial entry into the soup kitchen until I was eventually given the affectionate title of "Picture Lady" by the soup kitchen guests.

Keywords


homelessness; soup kitchens; family; photography; visual methods

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12835/ve2013.1-0014

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ISSN Print 2499-9288
ISSN Online 2281-1605
Publisher Altrimedia Edizioni
Patronage University of Basilicata, Italy
Web Leonardo Di Benedetto



Periodico registrato presso il Tribunale di Matera, numero di registrazione 2/2014