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Photo Elicitation Project Part 2

Francis Tyler McLoughlin
Loyola University Chicago


These two photos are from the Damen Student Center at the Lake Shore campus at Loyola

University Chicago. They were used in the previous project to represent oppression, and I have

decided to use them to continue my understanding of oppression. I pass these restrooms on a

daily basis on my way to my internship with Student Diversity and Multicultural Affairs

(SDMA). I believe this photo to represent Cultural Homophobia, described by Blumenfeld

(2013) as norms that are not written laws, but are held within societies values that excludes

images of transgendered folks. It can be assumed that being a man or woman is the norm; for

instance, when babies are born there are two lawn signs parents can purchase. It is either it is a

girl or it is a boy. These signs represent gender conformity and marginalize those who do not

identify as a man or woman. For someone questioning, these signs could serve as a trigger, in

the sense that these people would not be able to relate with either option, as they do not identify

as man or woman. These signs allow me to recognize my cis-gendered privilege. While

possessing this privilege, it will be my responsibility as professional to continue to dismantle

gender conformity on college campuses.


This picture comes from my home Islip, New York. This is our September 11th memorial. Most

towns on Long Island have a tribute or a memorial for those lost during attacks on the World

Trade Center. I use this picture to represent the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, which was a result

after September 11th, and not to disrespect the victims, but to promote the idea of indirectly

disabling our own people by sending them to war. Brown and Broido (2009) defined Ableism as the

oppression of people with disabilities (p. 188). I often come across social media posts referencing

veterans, picturing them with homeless signs which explains the lack of support they receive when they

return. This picture represents oppression in the sense that it resulted in the thousands of deaths on the

actual day of September 11th, and the number of people who obtained impairments due to the outcomes

that were put into place to protect the people of the United States. It also represents veterans who identify

as disabled, who are homeless, jobless and in need of resources to survive. This allows me to reflect on

my privilege as temporarily able bodied man. As a practitioner, I will engage in more conversations

surrounding ableism need to be had on college campuses to insure we are fully supporting students who

identify as disabled.

This photo was taken during my first few weeks in Chicago as I was exploring the Pilsen

neighborhood. I have decided to keep this photo as Mexican immigration has been a popular

subject amongst our Republican presidential debates. I believe this photo represents oppression

in the sense of how we often use the term illegal to represent a person. This photo signifies

how society places dehumanizing characteristics on human beings. I kept this photo because I

am still able to relate to this illegal aspect by being apart of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual,

Transgender, Queer, Asexual and Intersex (LGBTQIA) community. Blumenfeld (2013)

explained that it has only been within the last 160 years that laws and policies were implemented

to protect rights of same sex partnerships. Same sex marriage was not legal until this 2015. We

often oppress people based on characteristics they cannot change, whether that be Mexican

immigrants or LGBTQIA folks.


This is a new photo specifically for the project featuring Santa Claus during the holiday parade in

Chicago in 2015. This event is advertised as the lights festival parade which provides the

assumption that it will be welcoming to all holidays and faiths. The parade was the exact

opposite. Many cities in the United States have holiday parades and they always end with this

image. I am able to relate to this image as I identify within a spectrum that Joshi (2013)

provided, as Christian privilege benefits not only people who identify with Christianity or

consider themselves religious, but also those born Christian who are no longer observant (p.

253). I decided to use this photo because before this class, I was apart of the oppressor agent that

would say Merry Christmas to everyone, not realizing they may identify with a different holiday

or faith. With the readings on religious oppression, I was able to reflect on the privilege I held,

and how I targeted certain identities.



Before I started this program, I viewed Community Colleges as an alternative for unintellectual

students who were not capable of getting into other schools. Schuh, Jones and Harper (2011)

mentioned that many Associates Colleges aim to provide education for underrepresented

populations for a lesser cost that is accessible, ultimately aiming for the transition of students

into four year institutions. After this reading, my beliefs regarding these institutions reformed.

Further reflecting, I am able to relate to this concept of how many of my high school peers

attended Community Colleges for the first few years, and I never valued their education until this

program. This picture represents social justice in the lens of why it was created, especially

attracting people of lower socioeconomic statuses. Arrupe College serves as a bridge to LUC.

Once a student graduates with an Associates degree, they are able to attend Loyola for a

Bachelors program, further promoting access to students wanting to experience higher education.

This is a picture of an advertisement on behalf of Job Corps. The Job Corps is a United States

government agency that provides job training, education, health care, and personal counseling

for disadvantaged youth, many of whom come from racial and ethnic minority groups (Benson,

2015, p.1). Further reflecting on privilege as a White man, I used to promote the belief of

meritocracy. Adams (2013) defined this as the shaming and blaming of those who are

economically unsuccessful, and whose failure to thrive is mistakenly thought to be their own

fault (p. 144). As a White man, I scarcely reflected on the privilege that was related with my

identity. I was raised to believe that everyone has a choice, but in reality people are born into

certain situations that deem them to be in a continuous cycle of oppression. By Job Corps

targeting females and people of color, it allows access to the work force for underrepresented


This picture shows a Planned Parenthood facility located by the Lake Shore campus of LUC. I

included this photo to represent oppression at first, as I showed how visitors were forced to

remain closeted as the windows were all blocked. This time, I will use it to represent social

justice. Planned Parenthood is only associated with abortion, but not the free healthcare benefits

it provides to women with intersectional identities. This photo represents social justice because

defunding planned parenthood would indirectly disable women. Lack of good prenatal care and

dangerous or inadequate obstetrical practices cause disabilities in babies in the women giving

birth to them (Wendell, 2013, p. 482). By eliminating this resource, women who need this

medical venue, could look to dangerous surgical procedures from unlicensed professionals or

intentionally harm themselves. Furthermore, it represents social justice to those who are unable

to have medical insurance, to insure their medical needs will be financially covered. I am able to

relate to this picture as I was once in support of defunding planned parenthood, and only

associated it with abortions. I over looked my privilege as having medical insurance and

believed that this clinic did more harm than positive.



This photo was taken in Boys Town described as Chicagos proudest neighborhood. I used

this photo to represent social justice but I will now explain how I see it as privilege in terms of

heterosexism. Blumenfeld (2013) explained heterosexism as a force that excludes the needs,

concerns, cultures, and life experiences of lesbians, gay males, bisexuals, pansexuals and

asexuals (p. 373). We live in a scoeity that masculinizes everything, and "Boys Town is a

perfect example of privilege for those who identify as a man. Boys Town is supposed to be a

place that embraces intersectionality and diversity for LGBTQIA+ folks. The name itself

connotes that this is an area for boys, but does not include the identities of lesbian, transgendered

or queer folks. I believe this picture represents privilege for those who identify as men. This

picture contradicts the purpose of Boys Town, which is to be a place for LGBTQIA+

identifying individuals by the name its self. In terms of inclusivity, it only represents identities

of gay men. As a gay man, I am able to recognize the privilege I hold within the spectrum. As a

community, we must remember the interestedness to insure inclusivity for all identities.

This photograph comes from the International House at LUC, as it is the only entrance for

students who are living in the residential facility. I use this to represent privilege for students

who do not identify as temporarily able-bodied. Castaeda, Hopkins, and Peters (2013) used this

to raise conciseness that people who do not have disabilities may become disabled by illness

(p. 461). There are many students who resided in the International House during my

employment, and to my knowledge they were all temporarily able-bodied. One concern I did

have as a staff member is how our team could support a student who becomes disabled due to an

illness or accident. Accommodations could be made in the rooms but the stairs are an

unavoidable characteristic of the house as there is no elevator to the upper floors. Since this is

community that focuses on international culture, we attract students from around the world and

create an environment built on diverse viewpoints. I believe this represents privilege because if

an international student were to become disabled while living in the International House, they

would most likely be forced to reside in another residential community because of the lack of

accommodations that could be provided. Only students who are temporarily able-bodied are able

to enjoy this type of living environment.


This is a picture of a local Bank of America which I use for my checking and savings account

and have used them with credit cards in the past. I believe this picture represents privilege in the

sense that I am able to gain access to facilities in terms of location and support. Williams (2013)

explained that citizens in poor neighborhoods are unable to rely on banks as they cannot afford

fees associated or pass certain requirements. I use this picture to represent privilege coinciding

with my identity as a White individual and the location of where I am living. Living in Rogers

Park, the northern side of Chicago is predominately White. Banks on the northern side of

Chicago are scattered with locations in multiple destinations. In walking distance from my

studio, I have three different banks. If I were to be living in the area consisting of predominately

people of color, my access to a bank or ability to use them for financial situations would

drastically differ. My identity as a White person, allows me the privilege to be trusted based off

my skin color whereas a person of color would have a different interaction.


Adams, M. (2013). Classism: Introduction. In. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R. Castaeda, H. W.

Hackman, M. L. Peters, X. Ziga. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (3rd

ed.; pp. 141-149). New York, NY: Routledge.

Benson, A. K. (2015). Job corps (racial relations). Salem Press Encyclopedia, 1. Retrieved from


Brown, K., & Broido, M. E., (2009). Engaging students with disabilities. In J. Quaye & S.R.

Harper. (Eds.), Student engagement in higher education: theoretical perspectives and

practical approaches for diverse populations (2nd ed.; pp.187-209). New York: Routledge

Blumenfeld, J. W. (2013). Heterosexism, Introduction. In. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R.

Castaeda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, X. Ziga. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and

social justice (3rd ed.; pp. 373-379). New York, NY: Routledge.

Blumenfeld, J. W. (2013). How homophobia hurts everyone. In. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R.

Castaeda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, X. Ziga. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and

social justice (3rd ed.; pp. 379-387). New York, NY: Routledge.

Castaeda, R., Hopkins, E. L., & Peters, L., M. (2013). Ableism, Introduction. In M. Adams, W.

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Schuh, S.R. Jones, S. R. Haper. (Eds.), Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession

(4th ed.; pp. 27-28). San Francisco, CA; Jossey-Bass.


Joshi, Y. K. (2013). Religious oppression of Indian Americans in the contemporary United States.

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(Eds.), Readings for diversity and social justice (3rd ed.; pp. 250-254). New York, NY:


Wendell, S. (2013). The social construction of disability. In. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R.

Castaeda, H. W. Hackman, M. L. Peters, X. Ziga. (Eds.), Readings for diversity and

social justice (3rd ed.; pp. 481-285). New York, NY: Routledge.

Williams, B. (2013). Whats debit got to do with it?. In. M. Adams, W. J. Blumenfeld, R.

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social justice (3rd ed.; pp. 171-174). New York, NY: Routledge.