Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Sociology (MA)

Degree Level



Sociology and Criminal Justice


Kevin M. Fitzpatrick

Committee Member

Patricia Herzog

Second Committee Member

Anna Zajicek


Social sciences, Education, Community, Photography, Photovoice, Teenagers


The Fayetteville High School Community Photography Project was conducted with 10th-12th grade students in Spring 2014 as part of a participatory art project through their Sociology class. This study uses participant photographs and surveys to better understand student variation in community perceptions and connections. Participant photographs serve as a way to “see” how high school students perceive community. Survey data gathered on the same sample are used to measure individual-level characteristics such as perceived neighborhood deterioration, neighborhood satisfaction, and Social capital to better understand how they impact feelings of community connectedness in youth. Results indicate that Social capital plays an important role in how connected teens feel to their community. Additionally, based on qualitative analyses of the photographs, the built and Social communities continue to be important perceptual features of community, while the natural environment has emerged as an additional feature of community important to youth.