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This journal aims to gather researchers from many disciplines of the human and social sciences, and image and work professionals, around common hypotheses. The goal is to report the current state of research and production in the field, and to provide a forum for debate on these questions. It is in this exchange that the review “Images du Travail, Travail des Images” is elaborated.


We are in a continuous flow of still or animated images. They influence our representations, our ways of feeling and acting, our habits, our lives, as we participate, in return, more and more intensely, in the production of one part of them.

Even if the notion of image refers primarily to family life and hobbies, to consumption and entertainment, to political or social events, the world of work has not remained isolated from this inflationary production. It is simple to note the place of work in contemporary cinema, documentaries as well as fictional films: from “Les Temps modernes” or “La Bête humaine”, to “Ressources humaines” or “Violence des échanges en milieu tempéré”, from “La sortie de l’usine Lumière à Lyon” at the recent “Entrée du personnel”, the essence of work, of its place in our lives, of the sufferings or joys it causes, tries to be expressed through the image. Either the conditions of getting the job done or the conditions under which people do it, their hopes or disappointments; they are all realities that photographers, artists and filmmakers have never ceased to document, whether they have shown the work itself, the workshops or offices, or even working-class neighborhoods. At the same time, the stakeholders in work activities, whether they are company directors, professional groups, unions or struggling individuals, are increasingly concerned about their public image.

These findings are not recent. While it is worth recalling them, it is important to put them into perspective in the current context, marked by the profusion of images and the spectacularization of social life. In short terms, it becomes necessary to question both the production of dominant images, those which maintain the commercial show and carefree hedonism, and the counter-production of critical images, which works on economic and social reality and try to give a glimpse of what the dominant show is hidding.

There is little research that questions the representations and practices of individuals at work. Those who are interested in photographic or audiovisual productions are even rarer. In another register, there are few questions about the use of images in social science research. “Images du travail, travail des images” aims to tackle all of these questions. As a multidisciplinary scientific journal, it aims to compare practices and research in the social sciences of work that mobilize or make images such as those interested in the analysis of images. It is an electronic space, free and open to all, although it is primarily intended for researchers, students and image professionals.

The journal “Images du travail, travail des images” wishes to promote the use of images in scientific writing. In addition to the classic written form, articles must incorporate images, both still and moving, in their demonstration. The complementarity between text, image and sound is systematically required.


Each issue of the journal is organized around a specific theme articulating as far as possible the analytical aspects (contributions of images to the knowledge of the object studied) and the methodological and reflexive dimensions. It also includes so-called Varias articles, bringing a singular light on one aspect of the field, as well as reviews of books or audiovisual products, and a major interview with a person playing a significant role through his research or professional activity in the theme addressed.

Two more original sections deserve to be presented more precisely because they aim to develop exchanges between the different disciplinary approaches such as between researchers and specialists in images of work.

One eye, one image

It is a short text proposed by an image professional (photographer, artist, filmmaker, archivist ...) or researcher producing images.

It is a question starting from an image (which will have a central and determining role in this section) and commenting on it (approximately 1 page or 2000 characters): Why this image in particular? What does it say about work and its changes? How was it made?

In addition to the main image, the author can suggest a few other images (still or moving) to reinforce its point, but these images should only play a secondary role.

Images under construction

This section is open to current research work addressing in an original way the images of work, both fixed and animated, whether on the occasion of the mobilization of corpora or specific fields of investigation, or in the context of methodological experimentations about the different stages of the research: collection and processing of data, analysis and interpretation, publication and promotion.

These are short texts (around 15,000 characters) aiming to the dissemination of innovative practices, allowing a reflective return to field work and stimulating exchanges on images of work, objects of analysis and / or methodological tools.

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