The technique of photographing the community from your perspective is called PhotoVoice. It is a popular tool used in public health and social science research. The purpose is to understand community issues from the perspective of those who live in the community, especially those who may be disadvantaged or are unable to express their opinions. Ultimately the goal is to reflect on the PhotoVoice experience and for it to serve as a catalyst for social action and policy-level change.
Determine if you will photograph Morgan State University or a local neighborhood.
Camera or cell phone with camera
Release form (needed for photographs that include recognizable people)
Now that you have learned how social and economic factors may shape individual health, we will explore local communities to document what resources (goods and services) and policies you believe promote health (i.e. assets such as farmers markets) or are detrimental to health (i.e. barriers such as alcohol or tobacco advertisements).
- Take as many photographs as you would like, and choose your top 4 images. Upload your photos in a discussion thread and respond to the questions listed below.
- Many of you will be surveying the same community and possibly sharing cameras. Remember to document images based on your own opinions and without influence from your classmates. Please complete this project independently.
- There are no right or wrong answers, and photography skills and artistic talents are not required for this exercise.
- If you have the opportunity, engage with community members — storekeepers, shoppers, pedestrians, people you know who live or work in the community, people of all ages and backgrounds — and ask their perceptions of the primary health issues, and assets and barriers to health in the community. Ask their permission to photograph them and record their responses. Please ask them to sign release forms indicating their permission for you to share the photographs or interview notes with the class.
Answer the following questions for each photo (Total Points per photo = 37.5):
- What do you see in the photograph: What is visually straightforward or obvious? What assets (strengths) or barriers (weaknesses) to health can you identify? (5 pts)
- What is really happening in the photograph: In the photograph, what assets or barriers to health are not obvious? (5 pts)
- How does this photograph relate to our lives? What does this photograph mean to you and why did you choose it? (7.5 pts)
- Why does this asset or barrier to health exist? What socioeconomic/environmental causes could have led to what is captured in the photograph? (10 pts)
- How does what is captured in the photograph impact health behaviors? (10 pts)
Bonus Question (10 pts extra) What kind of Social Advocate are you?
- Complete the strength assessment at http://voices.mckinseyonsociety.com/what-kind-of-s…
- Select one of your own photos or one of your classmates’ photos.
- Respond on the photo’s thread by sharing your results from the quiz above and answering the following question: What can you do to address the assets and barriers identified in the photograph, especially as related to social advocacy?