Ethnographic Field Notes Essays Example
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Our group comprises of students who belong to diverse backgrounds. Every culture and ethnic background is perceived differently by the people. We often experienced stereotypical behavior about our ethnicities and this derived us to do in-depth analysis of such trends. We discovered that even among us, Latinos were highly stereotyped. Media portrays them differently in United States and Latin America. We eventually decided to choose it as the topic of our research and explore the rational grounds.
Latino stereotypes have an impact on other American cultures and the prejudice by looks and life style extends to the personal and professional fields. People are psychologically fed about the differences and they perceive the people likewise. Every nation has positive and negative attributes. We decided to carry this study out and explain that every stereotype is not true for all Latinos and their life is completely different than what a common man perceives. Stereotypes can’t be generalized for a whole nation.
BMCC is known for the diversity of cultures therefore we decided to interview the Latinos and Non-Latinos there. Professors were also a part of our study therefore we formulated the interview guide accordingly with non-structured and semi structured questions and distributed them among the group members. We divided our group in three segments with two members in each. One was assigned with the task of interviewing the Latinos, one had to record the opinions and views of non-Latinos and the other one had to take the opinion of the professors and teachers regarding the behavior of students towards Latinos. All of us started to take the interviews on 26th March, 2015 around 9:00am in Fiterman Hall of BMCC.
Initially we did not know how to start, who to interview and what to ask first. Rapport building and developing trust was among the main hurdles we had to face in order to collect the data. It was a typical school environment with many different faces, complexions and styles around us. After taking the consent of the respond and his willingness to give an interview, we introduced us, explained the topic and the reason of conducing interview. We started with the breathers to warm up the respond and form an atmosphere of trust and confidentially. Some respondents were really corporative and gave thoughtful answers. They even quoted the examples from their real life and how they ignored the stereotypes because they believed in cultural relativity. Some were really against the Latinos. A part from the questioning, we also did participant observation and keenly observed the behavior of the people towards Latinos. We also plan to involve the people from neighbors, schools, family friends etc. for their opinions.
The research focused on the stereotypes and the statistics held against the Latinos. The film will contain both the documentary and comical skit styles to glue the viewer and convey the message in the most comfortable way. The focus of this film will revolve around the following areas,
Hispanics of lighter and darker complexions
Representation by media
The actual reality
Two of us had the cameras, one assisted in script writing and the rest helped in the video editing. The input and opinion of every member would be considered.
In United States, the Latino population is growing rapidly and film and TV are focusing on the representation of Hispanics. They are used for entertaining the Americans . These stereotypes have negative impact on the immigration policies, employment and general behavior. A section of people argues that Latinos must be thankful for the representation that have got while other struggles for the rights and realistic representation. Media is powerful in creating an opinion among the masses and the hegemony does not always show the true side of reality. As a consequence, the Latino characters are used in sitcoms and mockery, offered jobs of gardeners and maids and racially discriminated.
The study identified the following most common Latino stereotypes.
Latinos are drug dealers and criminals.
All Latinos are Mexicans and Catholics
Latinos are poor with oversized families and uncivilized
Latinos have brown skin and eat Tacos
These stereotypes comprehend the exaggerated depiction of reality and promote the socio-cultural conflicts as the room of individuality gets compromised. It is observed that the Latinos are not united hence they don’t stand together to fight against the contempt and discrimination they experience involving the nationality, race and sexual orientation. They have integrated being the second and third generations and assimilated in to the American culture.
Every nation has positive and negative characteristics. It is against the moral responsibility of the media to highlight just the negatives. Unfortunately, people in America do not realize that they can learn cultural values from Latinos and endorse cultural relativism by giving up on ethnocentrism. Most Americans fully embrace and believe the Latino stereotypes especially the negative ones .It would be really challenging to communicate the reality in just one film but the involvement of the elements of comedy might help in delivering the message on positive notes.
Costantini, Cristina. "Latino Characters In Comedy: Are We Ready To Laugh At Ourselves?" 10 October 2011. Huffington Post. 29 March 2015 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cristinacostantini/latino-characters-in-come_b_923897.html>.
"Huffington Post." 9 December 2012. Study: Non Latinos Buy Into Stereotypes About Hispanic Americans. 29 March 2015 <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/12/latino-stereotypes_n_1877866.html>.
Nagi, Ariel. "16 Stereotypes of Latinas That Need to Stop." 23 January 2014. Cosmopolitan. 29 March 2015 <http://www.cosmopolitan.com/entertainment/celebs/advice/a5403/latina-media-stereotypes/>.
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