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Picturing Ethnic Studies: Photovoice and Youth Literacies of Social Action

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This study uses photovoice to examine the ways in which Chicanx youths hone their critical and multimodal literacy skills in a secondary ethnic studies course. While the institutionalization of secondary ethnic studies courses swiftly expands in school districts across the United States, more research is necessary to understand the nature of these courses. This inquiry examines student photovoice compositions, participant observations, and in-depth semistructured interviews to ascertain some of the affordances of an ethnic studies course from the perspectives of participating students. The following question guides this paper: How do students articulate the importance of ethnic studies in their lives? Students’ creations of photovoice compositions allowed them to communicate ideas around ethnic studies in authentic ways that valued their cultural practices and resources. Findings highlight student literacies of social action across three domains: individual, community, and structural.

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