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Keywords

Hispanic/Latino; asthma; environmental justice; photovoice; critical narrative analysis

Abstract

Asthma is an important environmental justice concern for first generation Mexican-Americans. Families experience disparities in housing conditions, access to care, and legal marginalization. Little is known about how Hispanic/Latina mothers of children with asthma navigate these oppressions.

Problem: The purpose of this paper is to describe the discourses of environmental justice of a group Hispanic/Latina caregivers of children with asthma.

Method: A photovoice design was used with Hispanic/Latina mothers (n=11) in Tacoma, Washington, to take, discuss, select and display phototexts to policymakers that communicated their experiences and opinions in managing asthma for their child. Using critical narrative analysis, phototexts were analyzed for the use of agency and structure in confronting environmental threats to asthma.

Results: Participants produced 33 phototexts taking on the roles of teacher, parent, advocate, investigator, and storyteller. Narratives identified environmental threats (breathable, meteorological, medical, social, emotional, and ingestible) and promoted protective actions and social advocacy against such threats.

Conclusion: Mothers' actions as teachers and advocates in the phototexts provided opportunities for promoting empowerment and solidarity with others in the face of multiple environmental oppressions. Critical narrative analysis of photo-texts provided an opportunity to identify important opportunities for furthering environmental justice in new immigrant groups.