Social change in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam through the eyes of its young citizens. A participatory visual ethnography methodology approach to photography, youth and social change in urban space
Le, Annhein K.
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Citation:Le, A. K. (2020). Social change in Ho Chi Minh City : Vietnam through the eyes of its young citizens. A participatory visual ethnography methodology approach to photography, youth and social change in urban space. (Unpublished document submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of International Communication). Unitec Institute of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4965
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/4965
RESEARCH QUESTIONS: 1. How participatory photography can be used as a critical tool to acknowledge development issues in HCMC? 2. How participatory photography can be deployed as a tool to empower young residents in HCMC to communicate social change? ABTRACT: Known as the centre of the Vietnamese economic restructuring, land speculation and education, Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) has been experiencing enormous developmental issues such as urban planning, housing and homelessness, waste water treatment, widening gap between the rich and the poor, and air pollution. The future of the city’s very young population (6 million out of an estimated 10 million) will be directly affected by these changes. In light of this, it is important to engage and provide them with the means to not only express their views on these changes but to critically engage with them through tools that are relevant to their daily life. This Master of International Communication research aims at exploring how participatory visual methods, within a communication for development and social change framework, can be used by the city’s young inhabitants to document change in their natural habitat. For a period of over five months, the research engaged with a small group of young people in HCMC, through a number of photography workshops, group and individual shootings that resulted in a series of photos hosted in a website along with the participants accompanying narratives. Participatory visual methods have been used extensively in social research to generate new forms of knowledge which cannot be developed any other way. In this project, the researcher and the participants collectively explored some of the emerging urban development themes identified in the photographs taken; how participatory photography is used as a critical tool to acknowledge development issues in the city; how participatory photography is deployed as a tool to empower young residents in HCMC to communicate social change and what some of the opportunities and challenges in working with young people to produce participatory visual outputs within a conceptual social change framework are. This research is presented in two parts. One part is a website where the participants and the researcher share some of the emerging themes of social change in the city through a series of photographs taken by the participants, their profiles and lessons learnt for similar projects to refer to. The other part is the exegesis that presents the research methods, findings, reflections of the researcher as well as recommendations for future research.