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Photovoice as Liberatory Enactment: The Case of Youth as Epistemic Agents

Chapter
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)

Abstract

Photovoice methodology has in recent years become an increasingly popular form of liberatory engagement within community-based participatory research (CBPR), especially in applications involving young people. In this chapter, we illustrate the liberatory potential of Photovoice as a praxis of epistemic correction and agency within contexts of dominant knowledge claims. By centralising marginalised voices, Photovoice is able to position young people as legitimate producers of knowledge. Drawing on a youth-centric Multi-country Photovoice Project, we use an instance of epistemic disruption, represented by the insertion of youth voices in a hegemonic knowledge-making space, to critically and reflexively analyse the liberatory performances and limits of Photovoice methodology. We suggest that despite its liberatory potential, Photovoice is subject to the marginalising institutional ideologies and arrangements inherent to the research enterprise, diminishing its social justice potential. In turn, we argue that if dominant adult-centric knowledges remain ascendant, research spaces that are constructed to enact and sustain the liberatory principles of community-engaged research may work to further silence subaltern voices.

Keywords

Photovoice Liberatory engagement Youth Epistemic correction Epistemic agency Reflexivity 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Social and Health SciencesUniversity of South AfricaJohannesburgSouth Africa
  2. 2.South African Medical Research Council-University of South Africa ViolenceInjury and Peace Research UnitCape TownSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of the Western CapeCape TownSouth Africa

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