Ameema Wasim
Material Type:
College / Upper Division
Creative Commons Attribution

Financial Divide: The Flow of Sustainability through Priorities

Financial Divide: The Flow of Sustainability through Priorities


Final OER Contribution for Sustainability Goals 

Sustainability Goals: 9, 10, and 11

Megan L, Ameema W, Rylea S 

The Ethnography of Youth and Justice in New York City 

Professor Fairweather 

13 December 2021 


        For our research, we focused on three sustainability goals; Goal 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure; Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities; Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. The original plan was to focus on one goal, but we realized that they were all connected in some way, in this case, financial divide. Before diving deeper into our research, three questions came to mind: How does somebody’s financial situation impact their access to transportation; Why is there such a strong focus on tourists in New York City when many of its residents are struggling? Why is there such a large gap, both financially and socially, between groups in the same communities? We had assumptions as filler answers before doing more research. We believe that one of the reasons for a directed focus towards tourism is because it earns the city a great sum of money. A lot of money may be being earned but it’s not being used in the right places, which shows a gap between not just the treatment of tourists and residents, but a difference between different communities as well. In addition to that, we were not aware of the role of capitalism and its significance throughout the entire economy in New York, both internally and externally. All in all, everything came down to a common ground, money and economic growth. It was obvious that NYC's priorities were off, as we discovered after taking our images. New York City was unconcerned about the costs of public transportation, financial disparities within a community, or the majority of its residents. The focus is on money and how it functions within a community or city. We avoided every possible bias throughout our research since bias would make it ineffective as a source of information. We hoped that by doing so, we would be able to provide a clear anthropological perspective on our goals, which we could relate to our own experiences. As part of our mission, we wanted to consider how the city focuses on the external rather than the internal in order to expand and reach the target audience (tourists). Our goal was to highlight the importance of change through these understated, yet clear actions. Our research emphasizes all of this from an anthropological standpoint, but we could have gone into greater depth on that. We focused on the changes within the city rather than comparing it to its previous state. The outcomes, on the other hand, were presented in a clear and efficient manner since we linked them to all three aims and tied them to each other's viewpoints in some way. Rylea and Ameema's photographs, for example, showed the problems with trains and financial disparity, as weekly train fares are high and may be one's sole mode of transportation. Megan's images depicted New York's infrastructure, as the synagogue was a stunning, well-built edifice, yet the apartment was on the cusp of coming apart in certain areas and molding all over. We aimed to contact those between the ages of 18 and 24, as they have a lot of impact on various platforms and may share the same perspective as others in their age group. We hoped to reach out to people who share our desire for community transformation. It is particularly suitable because it is not widely discussed and there are difficulties that must be addressed for improvements to take place. To summarize, this project was not only interesting, but it also provided us with an unique outlook on the improvements that need to be made in this community while focusing solely on three objectives. We learnt the importance of society, the need for more voices to speak up, and the inefficiencies that exist within the infrastructure community in connection to the economy as a result of our research.