Using Photovoice in Social Work Practice Research to Enhance Community-University Partnership
Photovoice is a participatory action research model which enables people to identify, represent, and enhance their communities through photographs and stories. The benefits of this type of research to participants, researchers, and communities are well documented in the literature (Feen-Calligan, Washington, & Moxley, 2009; Wang, 1999; Wang, Morrel-Samuels, Hutchinson, Bell, and Pestronk, 2004; Wang and Pies, 2004). By understanding the main goals of Photovoice and concepts of how to apply this technology, researchers and participants are able to effectively shape social policy in ways that benefit underrepresented populations. In China, for example, Photovoice was used to demonstrate the needs of rural women, causing policy makers to build daycare centers, initiate midwifery programs, and set up scholarships (Wang, Kun Yi, Wen Tao, & Caravano, 1998).
Presenters will describe the Photvoice method and its use in social work practice and research, provide examples of three successful Photovoice projects, and illustrate successful project elements and “lessons learned.” Presenters will provide specific discussion and instruction around the process of developing strong and enduring campus-community partnerships and illustrate how Photovoice provided an avenue toward strengthening the relationship between the campus and community. The following three projects will provide a context and background for discussion:
· Example one: documenting environmental challenges and inequities in the lived experience of aging and disability
· Example two: Tulsa Photovoice, bringing Photovoice into interdisciplinary education while exploring health and health access in neighborhoods
· Example three: GirlPower, using Photovoice to illuminate the challenges of adolescence
Presenters will engage the audience in a discussion around (1) strategies for joining with communities to engage in CBPR, (2) navigating potential ethical challenges and IRB Human Subjects concerns in the practice of engaging community members as researchers, (3) implementing a Photovoice project, (4) building a career on CBPR at a research intensive institution, and (5) integrating PV and CBPR into the classroom.