Off-campus UMass Amherst users: To download dissertations, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your UMass Amherst user name and password.

Non-UMass Amherst users, please click the view more button below to purchase a copy of this dissertation from Proquest.

(Some titles may also be available free of charge in our Open Access Dissertation Collection, so please check there first.)

The FotoDialogo Method: Using pictures and storytelling to promote dialogue and self-discovery among Latinas within a community-based organization in Massachusetts

Sales Flavia Ramos, University of Massachusetts Amherst


This study aims at building dialogue among culturally diverse groups by examining people's perceptions of social reality through the application of projective techniques. In this study the projective techniques consist of a set of original pictures drawn by the author based on participants' accounts of their living situations. The set of pictures combined with the process of inquiry applied in this study comprise the FotoDialogo Method. This study conforms to the following objectives: (1) developing and testing an original model of inquiry and education which promotes dialogue and self-discovery; (2) fostering dialogue skills and reflective thinking among disadvantaged Latino women; (3) promoting effective intergroup communication between health and human service providers and their client population; and (4) developing guidelines for the production of research and training materials that encourage effective intergroup communication, and empowerment of traditionally disadvantaged groups. The research methodology is grounded in qualitative and participatory research principles. The research design stems from Paulo Freire's Thematic Investigation Model, and Henry Murray's Thematic Apperception Test. This study was carried out within a community-based organization serving the Latino population in Massachusetts. The author took a leadership role in all phases of the study, as moderator of the Latina Women's Dialog Group (LWDG), and of a series of FotoDialogo Workshops addressed to health and human service providers. The LWDG sessions were conducted entirely in Spanish—the participants' native language—and recorded by audio tape. These sessions were later transcribed and translated by the author. Throughout this study pseudonyms for actual persons are used to protect participants identities and to maintain confidentiality. Accounts are based on actual interviews, and transcriptions of dialogue sessions. The results of this study revealed that the FotoDialogo Method can be a powerful strategy for Latinas to break silence about their particular experiences of oppression. The LWDG participants began a process of self-discovery which enabled them to analyze and value their experiences, and to fully participate in their community's social change. The FotoDialogo Workshops were also effective in raising awareness among practitioners regarding intercultural communication, and in reflecting upon the sociocultural context in which the Latino community is immersed.

Subject Area

Bilingual education|Multicultural education|Adult education|Continuing education|Womens studies

Recommended Citation

Ramos, Sales Flavia, "The FotoDialogo Method: Using pictures and storytelling to promote dialogue and self-discovery among Latinas within a community-based organization in Massachusetts" (1999). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI9932341.