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Creating/Uncreating Ethnicity(Based on Desperate Housewives – “You Gotta Get A Gimmick”_ Season VI)

From the perspective of Symbolic Interactionism:

1. Why did Juanita (daughter of Carlos & Gaby) think she was not Mexican? Explain the process of her identity through Cooley’s Looking-glass self.

2. Why did Gaby and Carlos equate American with White?

3. Why did Gaby and Carlos not understand why Juanita could not know she was Mexican?

4. How do you become Mexican? Do these make one Mexican? Why or why not for each?

a. Food (e.g., “I eat Chinese food…Does that mean I’m Chinese)
b. Language (Comprehension level: “Adios Amigo—I don’t know what that means”).
c. Family, neighbors, media
d. Social class (house square footage/air conditioning)
e. Symbols of ethnicity (From Abby’s Perspective)
Drinking Style = “Getting drunk Mexican way”
Drink type – Margaritas
Music (Mariachi Band in bar)
Poverty or Working Class

f. Historical consciousness:
Ancestors’ contribution to “self”
“Dreams of my father”
“Hard Work”/”Sacrifice”

5. How does one cease being ethnic – “Those People” vs. “Our People”?

Symbolic Interaction: Themes, Terms, Concepts

• Symbols
• Interaction
• Gestures

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