Historically disadvantaged youth negotiating for resilience resources to navigate towards violence prevention
This phenomenological study applied participatory visual methods to explore the social ecology of resilience in a rural Free State community. The purpose of this study was to investigate how visual messages created and delivered by South African youth within a rural Free State community can lessen violence aimed at them. Eleven historically disadvantaged young women (n= 6) and men (n = 5) aged 18-24 participated in this study. Their messages foreground resilience resources. In particular, they indicate that protective strategies, facilitated by various stakeholders in their social ecology (i.e., parents, police services, community policing, public service departments), are needed to support and educate youth to avoid violence. The findings of this study were in agreement with existing literature that reported that resilience is a dynamic, socio-ecological, transactional process between young adults (negotiating for protective factors) and their social ecology (the ability of the community to supply these protective factors that could better protect young adults from being exposed to violence). The findings included previously under-emphasized protective factors, namely supportive parenting, to guide young men toward socially appropriate life decisions that would better protect them from becoming involved in cycles of violence. In summary, my study promoted understanding of the protective factors historically disadvantaged young adults need in order to be better protected against violence in their community as well as facilitated dialogue between young adults and their social ecology in the hope to activate social change. Nevertheless, the dialogue had limited effect as youth reported no change in response to communication of their messages.
- Humanities