Date on Senior Honors Thesis
Senior Honors Thesis
College of Arts and Sciences
West End; Qualitative Analysis; Photography
This study focused on youths’ perspectives of problems in their neighborhoods. This is important because we are often looking for solutions from adults, when not all adults have the answers. This study involved a total of 9 youth from the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team in Louisville, KY. This team works alongside the mayor to try and prevent youth violence in their community. These youth participated in a Photovoice research project which is a method of allowing the youth to tell a story through their photographs. The youth focused on social justice needs and took photos of what they thought were problems in their community. We interviewed the youth in a series of dialogue sessions to get more of an understanding of their photographs. After analyzing the data by coding the transcripts of the interviews, I identified four themes of problems that the youth see in their neighborhood. Those themes were: a lack of pride in the community, trash and litter, drugs and alcohol, and an unkempt environment. Additionally, the youth pointed to two underlying conditions they believed were the source of these problems. These underlying conditions were lack of resources and money from the government and the community not having enough pride to come together to fix up their own community. This matters because it not only allows the youth to gain knowledge and experience of working on a research project but they also get a better understanding of what problems need to be fixed in their community. Now these youth from the Mayor’s Youth Implementation Team can talk to the Mayor about what can be done to fix the problems in their community.
Keywords: community, photovoice, social justice, youth
Lush, Erica Ann, "Voices of the unheard: Using photography to understand youths' perceptions of problems in their neighborhoods." (2020). College of Arts & Sciences Senior Honors Theses. Paper 227.
Retrieved from https://ir.library.louisville.edu/honors/227
The reason for doing this project is to get a better understanding of what youth see as problems in their neighborhoods. We had a total of 9 youth from the Mayor's Youth Implementation Team join us on our project. The youth used a procedure called Photovoice that allowed them to take cameras and go into their neighborhoods and take pictures of what they think are problems. After the youth took their pictures, we sat down with each youth and talked with them in an interview setting called a dialogue session. We asked them questions on why they took their pictures and what they could do to fix the problem that they see. After looking at all of the pictures and listening to the interviews, I identified 4 main topics that youth saw as problems in their neighborhoods. Those main problems were: no pride in their community, trash and litter filled the streets, alcohol and drugs, and an unkempt environment. The youth came up with two reasons that their community looked the way it did, they blamed lack of resources and money from the government and the community not having enough pride to come together to fix up their own community. This matters because the youth are able to help solve problems in their neighborhood. They learned how to work with a team of adults and work on a research project and in the end, make a plan with policy makers about how to fix those problems.