Kicks x cliques : exploring the intersection of sneaker culture and mental health in the Black community
Author(s)Johnson, Britney(Britney L.)
Exploring the intersection of sneaker culture and mental health in the Black community
Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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Mental health is an issue affecting a wide range of people, yet treatment and engagement levels for various multicultural groups are particularly low. With the United States becoming more diverse, there exists a need for more inclusive approaches to engagement. This thesis explores how a culturally relevant approach to mental health may impact conversations relating to the topic of Black mental health. With the prominence and cultural significance of sneakers, this work seeks to highlight its influence on destigmatizing mental health in the Black community. The methodology of this research is presented in three phases: rapid ethnography, a footwear design workshop, and a social media campaign. With each phase influencing the direction of the research, we utilized the results of the social media campaign to measure its impact on #blackmentalhealth conversations on Twitter. Several tweets relating to Black mental health were gathered from the platform to be evaluated using sentiment analysis techniques. This evaluation presented how the sentiments shared during the social media campaign contributed positively to the discussion on the platform. The perspective of sneakers provided more personal narratives of mental health that extended beyond inspiration quotes and mental health events. It is our hope that this work motivates others to consider the importance of cultural inclusion when pursuing various methods of engagement - whether in relation to mental health or other important issues.
Thesis: S.M., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, School of Architecture and Planning, Program in Media Arts and Sciences, 2019Cataloged from PDF of thesis. "The Table of Contents does not accurately represent the page numbering"--Disclaimer page.Includes bibliographical references (pages 75-79).
DepartmentProgram in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Program in Media Arts and Sciences