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      Photovoice as a Method for Revealing Community Perceptions of the Built and Social Environment

      International journal of qualitative methods
      photovoice, qualitative methods, community based participatory research, built environment, social environment

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          Abstract

          Over the last number of years there has been growing interest in the use of community-based participatory research (CBPR) for preventing and controlling complex public health problems. Photovoice is one of several qualitative methods utilized in CBPR, as it is a participatory method that has community participants use photography, and stories about their photographs, to identify and represent issues of importance to them. Over the past several years photovoice methodology has been frequently used to explore community health and social issues. One emerging opportunity for the utilization of photovoice methodology is research on community built and social environments, particularly when looking at the context of the neighbourhood. What is missing from the current body of photovoice literature is a critique of the strengths and weaknesses of photovoice as a method for health promotion research (which traditionally emphasizes capacity-building, community-based approaches) and as a method for revealing residents’ perceptions of community as a source of health opportunities or barriers. This paper will begin to address this gap by discussing the successes and challenges of using the photovoice methodology in a recent CBPR project to explore community perceptions of the built and social environment (with the ultimate goal of informing community-based chronic disease prevention initiatives). The paper concludes with methodological recommendations and directions for future research.

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          Most cited references145

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          Photovoice: a participatory action research strategy applied to women's health.

          Photovoice is a participatory action research strategy that may offer unique contributions to women's health. It is a process by which people can identify, represent, and enhance their community through a specific photographic technique. Photovoice has three main goals: to enable people (1) to record and reflect their community's strengths and concerns, (2) to promote critical dialogue and knowledge about personal and community issues through large and small group discussion of their photographs, and (3) to reach policymakers. This report gives an overview of the origins, key concepts, methods, and uses of photovoice as a strategy to enhance women's health.
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            Come take a walk with me: the "go-along" interview as a novel method for studying the implications of place for health and well-being.

            This paper aims to serve as a four-part introductory primer on the "go-along" qualitative interview methodology for studying the health issues of neighborhood or local-area contexts. First, I describe the purpose and different types of implementation of go-alongs. Second, I discuss its advantages for studying how place may matter for health (particularly in terms of the participants) and how it may facilitate researchers' understandings of local knowledge as well as the social and physical context. Third, I consider the method's strengths and limitations for population health research on neighborhoods and local areas. Fourth and finally, I discuss how go-alongs may be used in tandem with other qualitative and quantitative approaches for multi-method research. Informing this discussion are my own experiences with a particular type of go-along interview-"walk-along" interviews-during a study of social capital in Milwaukee, Wisconsin neighborhoods.
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              Community-based participatory research: policy recommendations for promoting a partnership approach in health research.

              Community-based participatory research in public health focuses on social, structural, and physical environmental inequities through active involvement of community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process. Partners contribute their expertise to enhance understanding of a given phenomenon and integrate the knowledge gained with action to benefit the community involved. This article presents key principles of community-based participatory research (CBPR), discusses the rationale for its use, and provides a number of policy recommendations at the organizational, community and national levels aimed at advancing the application of CBPR. While the issues addressed here draw primarily upon experiences in the United States, the emphasis throughout this article on the establishment of policies to enhance equity that would serve both to increase the engagement of communities as partners in health research, and to reduce health disparities, has relevant applications in a global context.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                27390573
                4933584
                10.1177/160940691101000201
                http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0

                photovoice,qualitative methods,community based participatory research,built environment,social environment

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