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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Youth-Filmmaking and Youth-Centered Narratives: Type 2 Diabetes and an "At Risk" Population
by Angelina Vigil, Adriana, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 100; 10840529
Abstract (Summary)

Children are increasingly designated “at risk” for various diseases, which have—until recently—been considered predominately adult-onset diseases. Young children are now acquiring type 2 diabetes, which medical professionals have nicknamed one of “the slow and silent killers.” Many disadvantaged communities are disproportionately afflicted with these illnesses. Entire groups are labeled “at risk” by governmental agencies, which is a problematic construct since it marks people in certain communities as more likely to get sick because of inherent weakness. Historically, the discursive relationship between Latinos and diabetes has played out with a common biomedical narrative that stages this population as prone to illness.

The accounts of type 2 diabetes found in science, academia, and the mainstream media tend to tell the stories of adult patients and how their health is compromised by illness. Absent are youths’ voices, their experiences, and their beliefs about a disease that they learn through family, intervention policies, and media discourse. Current and past intervention campaigns call for changes to diet and physical activity. These types of interventions have criticized the menus of school lunches and have promoted increased activity, one widely publicized national example was the Let’s Move campaign.

Calling for a reevaluation of traditional diabetes prevention strategies, which are usually focused on adults, this study will seek to provide a chance for children to add their voices to the conversation. The absence of their voices is profound and could perpetuate stereotypes about illness and risk. Through their narratives and short films the participants in the study will express their understanding, knowledge, and beliefs about type 2 diabetes. This study explores how children decide what their own type 2 diabetes intervention strategies look like. The participants will have the opportunity to take control of their own discourse by defining what being “at risk” for type 2 diabetes means to them and whether they think being “at risk” is a real concern. By putting cameras in the children’s hands, we can see what stories matter to them and how they conceptualize ideas about health and wellness. Through this project, the children have a chance to take part in activities that shift the paradigm from “at risk” to becoming “at promise.” As the lead researcher, I will revisit a space, which was once my own school, and with a new double role, as parent volunteer and researcher, the focus of my return is to elicit and facilitate students’ communication about their perceptions, ideas and reactions related to type 2 diabetes.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rousso-Schindler, Steven
Commitee: Loewe, Ronald, Quintiliani, Karen
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 58/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Cultural anthropology, Public health, Film studies
Keywords: Applied visual anthropology, Mexican American, Participatory visual research, Public health, Type 2 diabetes, Youth filmmaking
Publication Number: 10840529
ISBN: 978-0-438-63370-4
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