Ontent Analysis Exercise (unobtrusive research)
For one week, observe a few prime-time television shows that feature prominent Asian American characters. The shows can be either comedies or dramas: you should also pay attention to commercials. Note the number of characters on each show who are people of color, including Asian Americans. Pay particular attention to the way the characters are portrayed. What is their apparent social class standing? How does their behavior conform to common stereotypes associated with members of these groups? How frequently do their words or actions refer to their own race? Do the plots of the shows revolve around what you might consider a?raciala? themes? That is, how often does the issue of race come up during the course of the show?
Interpret your observations sociologically. What are the implicit messages communicated by the portrayal of racial/ethnic minorities? What kinds of commercials are Asian Americans associated with? What role does humor play in reinforcing or fighting prejudice? Are characters who do not act in stereotypical ways conforming instead to a white, middle-class standard? If so, how will this portrayal ultimately affect public perceptions of race?
Note. Exclude sports or Asian American channels–this would defeat the purpose of this assignment. The program(s) have to be playing on television.
Your paper should include the following components:
a) Introduction: state the topic of your choice [1 paragraph]
b) Data and Methodology: discuss the details of the data source [1 paragraph]
For the content analysis exercise, state the programs you watched for analysis: log the time, date, channel, and length of your observations.
c) Findings: describe in detail what you observed [3-4 paragraphs]
d) Discussion: apply relevant concepts, theories or perspectives learned in this course for
analysis of your findings [2-3 paragraphs]
e) Conclusion [1 paragraph]: discuss whether or not your findings were supported by what
you have learned in the course. What new insights did you gain (or not) from this exercise? Were you aware of possible limitations of the method? If so, what alternative methods might overcome such limitations?
f) Attach a reference list containing the sources used for analysis.