PSYC 4350: NYC In Focus – PhotoEssays

PSYC 4350 (Psychology of Race, Place and Power) explores how social relations – namely those shaped by race and power – shape the places where people live. This interdisciplinary course (ICC) bridges research from psychology and geography to better understand the psychology of race, place, and power, as well as the resulting effects when power is used to exclude and/or usurp racialized others (e.g., gentrification and segregation).

Using New York City as a case study, students explore what makes a space a place that holds meaning for the people who live there. We then turn to how to “read” a place; what are the visual aesthetics that one to determine a place as distinctive. Finally, we examine the drivers of gentrification as an example of how place changes (often involuntarily) over time — and what causes it? Who decides who stays and remains in gentrified neighborhoods?

We also examine the consequences of exclusion on a neighborhood level, considering attachments to place, and potential disruptions to well-being, a sense of belonging, and health when neighborhoods change abruptly and rapidly. As part of this process, students created photo essays as part of their final projects to put life in NYC and the Bronx “in focus.” See some of their efforts here!