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"We Live in the Shadow": Inner-City Kids Tell Their Stories through Photographs


The inner-city world of at-risk teens through their powerful photos and stories 

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The inner-city world of at-risk teens through their powerful photos and stories 

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
University of Southern California sociologist Kaplan gives a group of preteens from South Central L.A. the chance to document their lives in this moving work. After telling them to “take pictures of anything you want to show me about your experiences,” Kaplan uses the results to assemble a well-researched narrative examining how the subjects “experience and react to the social problems associated with South Central,” their reflections on living there, and how they deal with daily challenges, including gang violence and drug warfare. Kaplan starts by explaining “photovoice methodology,” then interweaves her subjects’ stories and pieces from their photo essays with her research, reflections, and observations, confronting issues of class, race, and identity. Even casual anecdotes point to larger problems—teachers who don’t care and schools that don’t work. Referring to a photo of a chain-link fence, a student named Kyle writes, metaphorically, “If you’re on one side... you could say you’re on the outside looking in, as if you’re not part of their world. You look at it from the other, you can say you’re trapped on the inside in your own home.” 53 halftones. (July)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781439907894
  • Publisher: Temple University Press
  • Publication date: 5/31/2013
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

 Elaine Bell Kaplan is Associate Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of Southern California and author of Not Our Kind of Girl: Unraveling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood.

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Table of Contents


Part I   Kids with Cameras

1. “What Do You Want to Tell Me about This Picture?”
2. The Photovoice Methodology

Part II   History and Transformation of South Central

3. “Don’t Be a Menace to South Central while Drinking Your Juice in the Hood”
4. “Send Them All to Iraq”

Part III    Kids’ School Stories

5. Teachers and Dirty Bathrooms
6. “She’s Gettin’ Her Learn On”

Part IV    Kids’ Neighborhood Stories

7. “I Was Just Scared”
8. Garbage, Alleyways, and Painted Doors

Part V Kids’ Family Stories

9. Strain of a Heart
10. To Hope for Something

Appendix A: Participants by Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Age
Appendix B: University of Southern California Neighborhood Academic Initiative Program Graduate Survey, 1997–2011
Appendix C: Assignments and Questionnaire


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