“There Are Many Social Evils...and Only We Can Cure It”: A Thematic Content Analysis of Privileged Indian Youth’s Perspective on Social Issues
This study aimed to investigate how socioeconomically privileged students at a private school in India understood social issues in their communities, and it explored whether their understanding of and discourse about working against social and economic oppression changed after they took a field trip to a nearby under-resourced village. The sample included 75 youth from high-income backgrounds in Bhubaneswar, India, most of whom reported never having spent time in a poverty-stricken village. Students responded in writing to reflection prompts before and after the field trip. Participants’ responses were thematically coded to capture their perspectives of social injustice and ideas of change. A codebook of participants’ reflections was then developed, consisting of thirty-five themes and seven overarching domains: (1) positionality; (2) discrimination; (3) structural issues; (4) village-level issues; (5) strategies for problem solving; (6) experiences of helping; and (7) reasons for or barriers to problem solving. Descriptive frequencies revealed the prevalence of themes before and after the field trip. Implications and limitations of the study and directions for future research on enhancing awareness of privilege and social oppression are discussed.
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