Title: A Comparative Analysis of Different Cultural Perspectives: Made in Mexico and Living on One
This analysis aims to compare two cultural perspectives depicted in the reality show Made in Mexico and the documentary series Living on One. Made in Mexico focuses on the lives of affluent individuals in Mexico City, while Living on One follows the journey of four young Americans experiencing extreme poverty in a rural Guatemalan village. By examining the characters’ behaviors, cultural practices, and societal norms, we can gain insight into the contrasting aspects of these cultures.
Made in Mexico:
1. Surprises about the characters:
One surprising aspect of the characters in Made in Mexico is their extravagant lifestyle and materialistic tendencies. The desire for wealth, luxury, and social status appears to be a central focus for many individuals, highlighting the emphasis placed on appearance and appearance-based social hierarchy. This contrasts with traditional Mexican values of family, community, and humility.
2. Unique aspects of the show:
Compared to reality shows in the United States, Made in Mexico stands out due to its cultural specificity and representation of Mexican traditions. It provides a nuanced portrayal of Mexican society, challenging stereotypes and showcasing the diversity within the country. Additionally, the show explores the intersection of modernity and tradition, highlighting the evolving nature of Mexican culture.
3. Day of the Dead celebration:
The characters in Made in Mexico approach the Day of the Dead with a combination of reverence and spectacle. They recognize the importance of honoring deceased loved ones through the creation of elaborate altars, showcasing personal mementos and offerings. If I were to make an altar, I would choose to honor my grandparents, as they hold significant importance in my life and have influenced my values and beliefs.
4. Behavior and thinking in comparison to my culture:
The behavior and thinking of the characters in Made in Mexico often contrast with the culture I identify with. While the characters prioritize individualism, ambition, and personal success, my culture emphasizes collectivism, community, and family bonds. Additionally, the characters’ reliance on hired help and their detachment from certain domestic responsibilities differ from the expectations within my culture, where family members actively participate in household tasks.
5. Unique aspects of characters’ lifestyles:
The characters in Made in Mexico live in a high society surrounded by opulence and conspicuous consumption. Their ability to travel frequently, engage in lavish parties and events, and access luxurious amenities sets them apart from the majority of the population. Furthermore, their fashion choices, which often incorporate designer brands, emphasize their social status and aesthetic presentation.
6. Cultural differences in behavior and norms:
There are instances in Made in Mexico where certain behaviors or actions are depicted that would be considered unusual or inappropriate in my culture. For example, the characters engage in public confrontations, exhibit open displays of wealth, and openly discuss intimate details of their personal lives. In my culture, such behavior is generally deemed inappropriate and frowned upon.
Mexico’s reaction to the show:
Mexico’s reaction to Made in Mexico highlights the mixed opinions and discussions it sparked within the country. Some praised its representation of Mexico’s diverse culture and the exposure of societal issues, while others criticized it for perpetuating stereotypes or focusing solely on the affluent class. This reaction emphasizes the complexity of the show and the various perspectives it elicited.
Living on One:
8. Surprises about the lives of the extreme poor:
Living on One exposes the grueling reality of extreme poverty, presenting surprising aspects such as the lack of access to clean water, limited food availability, and the absence of basic infrastructure. These hardships undermine the dignity and well-being of the villagers and highlight the systemic issues faced by marginalized communities.
9. Roles of adults and children within the family:
In the village depicted in Living on One, adults are responsible for providing for their families, primarily through agricultural labor. Children are expected to contribute to household chores and receive minimal formal education. The expectation of each family member revolves around survival and meeting basic needs.
10. Behavior and thinking in comparison to my culture:
The behavior and thinking of the characters in Living on One differ significantly from my culture’s emphasis on individual growth and material success. In the documentary, the characters prioritize community well-being, self-sufficiency, and resilience despite extreme poverty. This contrasts with the more individualistic values promoted in my culture.
11. Unique cultural practices:
Living on One portrays cultural practices such as communal celebrations, reliance on traditional farming methods, and resourcefulness in making do with limited resources. These practices reflect the resilience and adaptability of the villagers and serve as a reminder of the importance of community support and appreciation for simple joys in life.
12. Cross-cultural differences in behavior and norms:
Living on One provides a glimpse of behaviors and norms that are not prevalent in my culture. For example, the villagers prioritize collective decision-making, share resources within the community, and exhibit a strong sense of unity. These practices contrast with the individualistic mindset and competitive nature often seen in my culture.
13. Significance of cultural practices:
If my community were to adopt some of the practices witnessed in Living on One, such as communal celebrations or a greater emphasis on mutual support, it could lead to a stronger sense of unity and collective well-being. These practices may help foster a sense of interconnectedness and promote a focus on communal progress rather than individual gain.
Contrasting the two items:
The stark contrast between Made in Mexico and Living on One is evident in their portrayal of affluence versus poverty, materialism versus simplicity, and individualism versus collectivism. While Made in Mexico offers glimpses into the lives of the privileged, Living on One sheds light on the struggles faced by marginalized communities. These two items provide a balanced perspective on different cultural realities.
My perspective has been altered by the exposure to these two items. It highlights the diversity and complexity inherent in cultures and challenges preconceived notions or stereotypes. The takeaway from observing these cultural contrasts is the importance of understanding and appreciating different cultural perspectives, as well as recognizing the impact of societal structures on individual experiences. By analyzing these cultural depictions, we can foster greater empathy and understanding in an interconnected world.