Photography through the Social Lens: A Case of East Baltimore and Gentrification

Senior Capstone Experience by Danielle Lynch ’19

Submitted to the Department of Sociology

Abstract: “The main aim for this Senior Capstone is to explore the visual method of Sociology through photography as a research method to study gentrification in East Baltimore and the social issue’s effects on the subculture of residents. With specific focus on the interactions of the corporation of East Baltimore Development (EBDI) and Johns Hopkins Medical Institution (JHMI) with the local community that resides in the urban neighborhood. In order to conduct this study, I considered a variety of measurements over the span of two academic semesters, including in-depth research of gentrification in urban areas, the presence and impact of EBDI and JHMI on East Baltimore through a visit to the area itself to receive the lay of the land. By capturing photographs of the surroundings, I analyzed the architecture and landscape while interconnecting the collection of all scholarly data and visual findings.

“This thesis is structured in six main chapters: (1) Introduction, offering context to the interest of the research and research question; (2) Literature Review, addressing the main academic research articles similar to this study; (3) Theory, noting key sociological theories that correlate with the current research that explain the social issue of gentrification; (4) Methods and Procedures, introducing EBDI and Johns Hopkins and the method of visual research (5) Results, a series of photographs with descriptions and analysis; (6) Discussion, Conclusions, Limitations, and a means of further research within the study.

“In summary, the research findings show that the use of photography to determine the physical loss of subculture was useful in the study of gentrification in East Baltimore in determining the physical loss of subculture that the urban community experiences through urban destruction and change. “

Read Danielle’s SCE here:

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