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ERIC Number: EJ925598
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 19
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
ISSN: ISSN-1082-7161
Your Lives through Your Eyes: Rural Appalachian Youth Identify Community Needs and Assets through the Use of Photovoice
Downey, Laura; Anyaegbunam, Chike
Journal of Appalachian Studies, v16 n1-2 p42-60 Spr-Fall 2010
From the early stages of photography, photographs have been used as a method of depicting social relationships and structures. Often, photographs intending to draw attention to social and economic needs were recorded from an "outsider's" perspective. As a result, regions such as Appalachia have been portrayed as fundamentally different from mainstream society. In contrast, photovoice is an emerging research method that places the power to describe social conditions directly in the hands of local residents. This article describes a youth photovoice project in Morgan County, Kentucky that engaged high school students in a comprehensive visual community health assessment. Participants in this project were asked to capture community characteristics that affect residents' health through the lens of a camera. They were also asked to provide narratives about the images they captured. Participants identified potential community assets as well as changes that could improve their community. Photographs covered an array of topics that ranged from a broad illustration of the community to specific health concerns. Three broad categories emerged from the students' photographs: community life and assets, community needs, and public health problems. Students' photographs and narratives informed broader community discussions about strategies for improving the health and well-being of Morgan County residents.
Appalachian Studies Association. Marshall University, One John Marshall Drive, Huntington, WV 25755. Tel: 304-696-2904; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: High Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Kentucky