Place, Health, and the Geography of Embodiment: Intergenerational Participatory Research for Representation/as Resistance in The Ville

Authors: Ryan Petteway*, Portland State University, OHSU-PSU School of Public Health
Topics: Geography and Urban Health, Medical and Health Geography, Qualitative Methods
Keywords: place, participatory research, intergenerational, social epidemiology, embodiment, public housing, resistance, representation, crowdsourcing
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Studio 8, Marriott, 2nd Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

Understanding place and health his now a core focus of public health research/practice. However, many local health departments (LHDs) face fiscal, political, and jurisdictional limitations that compromise efforts to assess and equitably respond to local place-health concerns. This is particularly true of smaller LHDs that oftentimes do not have dedicated epidemiologists/GIS specialists. Moreover, community resident perspective is seldom included in LHD community assessment plans/practice, and youth tend to be excluded entirely.

I report on an intergenerational community-based participatory research (CBPR) study of place and health among public housing residents—People’s Social Epi Project (PSEP). PSEP—beyond serving as a community health assessment—was envisioned as an avenue to shape local discourse regarding public housing, a method to represent/re-present important community spaces, and a tactic to resist/counter efforts to, in the words of residents, “wipe us off the map”. Through this work, I will: 1) introduce X-Ray Mapping as a participatory method to elucidate residents’ “geographies of embodiment”, 2) highlight the value/utility of information and communication technologies (ICTs) in deepening resident participation in community assessment efforts, and 3) discuss the role of participatory research as resistance and for representation.

Parent-youth dyads were recruited and trained in four participatory methods, including X-Ray Mapping. Participants used X-Ray Mapping and a multimedia-enabled web-based mapping platform to map their “geographies of embodiment”.

ICTs anchored in CBPR afford the opportunity to move towards more inclusive and equitable community assessment models, and as such present as an avenue to democratize public health research/practice and “socialize” epidemiology/geography.

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