The value of images for exploring the functions of social representations: toward self-generated pictorial social representations. A Comment on “History, emotions and hetero-referential representations” by Sen and Wagner (2005)
The comment is focused on the hetero-referential representations studied by the help of visual stimuli as it has been achieved in the article co-authored by Ragini Sen and Wolfgang Wagner. The comment points out the advantages of the approach developed by Sen and Wagner that has at its core the use of iconic stimuli that record information and symbolic meaning related to important events that marked the relations between Hindus and Muslims. The comment aims also at discussing the epistemic valence of what could be called pictorial (figural, iconic) social representations produced by the insiders of any community that could complement the predominant verbal approach of social representations which, by their content and expression, cannot cover the pictorial representations that are used naturally at different levels of social complexity from individual level up to community level and even global level.