Friday, March 14, 2008

My cross-cultural encounter

I grew up in Barrington, Rhode Island. Barrington is a very white affluent bedroom community viewed as a great place to raise children, as the school system is the best in the state. With this in mind, for my cultural encounter I wish to explore another culture that I suspect is different from the one I experienced in Barrington. I have decided on the city of Fall River and its many Portuguese-speaking inhabitants as the site for my cultural encounter. Not only are there many people of Portuguese decent in Fall River, there are also a significant population of first generation immigrants. There is a strong Portuguese presence in Rhode Island yet not where I grew up. By immersing myself in the culture of the Portuguese in Fall River I hope to learn more about their worldview and in the process more about my neighbors. Furthermore, I hope to learn more about myself by contrasting the way I live with that of those in Fall River who have recently arrived from Portugal.

Because Fall River is not very far away from either Wheaton or my hometown of Barrington I hope to make multiple trips to gain first person inspiration for my blog. I am optimistic, as I know there are many Portuguese festivals, dances, and other social events in Fall River that will lend substance, and maybe some photos, to this blog.

1 comment:

CShaw said...

This is a very interesting blog. Being a resident of Rhode Island and having gone to school in Barrington I was immediately drawn into reading it. I like how you chose to focus your cross-cultural study on a culture that rarely seems considered. The Portuguese citizens of Fall River are certainly a sub culture that tends to be overlooked in many ways. I also like how you so honestly described your hometown as being a somewhat “bedroom community” that is predominately white. Whether or not this is in fact true, I feel that it gives a good setup for the blog as it describes a community so different from the one you are studying.

I felt that you had a strong first post that described your intentions in writing your blog. The description of your soon to be encounters are very straight to the point. You also do a fine job of describing the community that you intend to explore. It is made clear that it is a subject that is both interesting as well as illusive to your personally. There could possibly be more written about your inspiration for choosing your topic, however I feel that the information you have given so far is sufficient.

I really liked your second post in how thorough your second was. In some places there may have been some unneeded information about the actual appearance of Fall River, however some information is appropriate given that it serves to create an image for the readers. I also liked how you only touched on the history of Portuguese residents of Fall River. I feel that this left room for you to delve further into the topic in the following post.

One suggestion I have is that you explain more about the differences between the Fall River culture and the Barrington culture. I feel like there’s a lot of great information given about the Portuguese lifestyle that could be enhanced when viewed next to the culture that you are used to. You do have some comparative parts, however I think that a post dedicated to the comparison would work nicely. Overall I think this is a very interesting piece with a lot of accurate and in-depth information.