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Insights Into an Invisible Community: A Photovoice Project with Latino Immigrant Men in Allegheny County

Kamouyerou, Andrea (2011) Insights Into an Invisible Community: A Photovoice Project with Latino Immigrant Men in Allegheny County. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Background: While the Latino immigrant male (LIM) population in Allegheny County is small, it is quickly growing. Previous studies have shown that men who immigrate without their families lack a sense of collective identity due to a socioeconomically diverse and geographically dispersed Latino population in Allegheny County. This reality may result in social isolation, and other associated negative health consequences. Purpose: This qualitative study sought to understand the social context of LIM in Allegheny County and describe how this context may impact their health. Methods: Photovoice was used, which is a community-engaged methodology in which participants document their lives in photographs, to understand community-level perspectives on participants' social context and relevant health topics. Participants were asked to take photographs about various topics, discuss the contexts related to photographs, and then relate the contexts with their experiences as immigrants. Seven LIM participated. Photograph "assignments" addressed the meaning of: (1) being an immigrant; (2) stress and related coping strategies; and (3) "fun" for the Latino community. All discussions were transcribed and analyzed using elements of grounded theory. Results: Three dominant themes emerged, which characterize the social context of participants: 1) the paramount role of the family leads immigrants to make sacrifices in order to provide for relatives abroad; 2) individual estimation of self-worth is affected by many factors, including workplace dynamics, pride and social discrimination; and 3) this community is marginalized, not able to retain close ties with families in the former culture, yet not able to access and participate in society in the new culture. Participants also discussed the disconnected nature of the Latino population and high stress levels, influenced by excessive work hours, unstable housing situations and lack of healthy social outlets. Conclusions & Public Health Relevance: The contextual reality within which LIM live in Allegheny County is not sufficient to provide the social support needed for members of a collectivist culture. This lack of social support, compounded by a social and economic context hostile to immigrants, is resulting in negative health outcomes. Existing health infrastructure must take into account this reality, particularly when designing care, support and prevention programs.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDocumét, Patricia
Committee MemberYonas,
Committee MemberGuadamuz, Thomas
Date: 23 September 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 July 2011
Approval Date: 23 September 2011
Submission Date: 25 July 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: acculturation; immigrant; marginalization; latino; Photovoice
Other ID:, etd-07252011-165149
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:53
Last Modified: 11 Jan 2012 21:51


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