In your responses to others, evaluate your classmates’ new, mixed approach interpretation to their work of literature. How could you further elaborate on it? How would you change it, if at all? How does it connect to other things we have discussed in class?
The Vampire Diaries is a television show that follows the lives of many high schoolers. With the main characters being Elena Gilbert – a human, Stefan and Damon salvatore – vampires, and Bonnie – witch. The Vampire Diaries was a show that involved many different creatures that very rarely intermixed. Klaus for example, was the first ever hybrid. A hybrid was both werewolf and vampire. They were stronger than the others and were immortal. However, Klaus ultimately ended up creating many more hybrids to join his army in the end.
From the view of a monoracial writer, they focused primarily on the creation of the hybrid rather than than the experience of the hybrid. From the mixed race perspective, the focus should be more on the struggle of the hybrid to identify to a specific group. When it comes to this TV series, the werewolves and vampires were not cordial. So when a new hybrid is created, they then have to re identify themselves, an already daunting task. In the show the hybrids joined together and identified easily together, as a group. However, each individual hybrid faced their own specific struggles that could very well be based off of the possible struggle of being mixed supernatural creatures.
The Office is a comedy show about a paper company, it follows the lives of Manager: Michael Scott and all his workers. It consists of a lot of racist and offensive joke. Currently, with teenagers and young adults the content that we find amusing often consists of these types of jokes. One example from this show is when they all have a different name of a race/gender taped to their for heads, so they have to walk around and the person they are speaking to have to imitate that race/gender so the person can guess what race is taped to their for head. One character had Asian on their for head, Pam, the other character was saying a stereotype about them, “you would not be a good driver” then Dwight, trying to guess his race/gender said, “Oh, man, am I a woman?!” Now many found this particular scene to be very funny, but it’s clearly extremely offensive. However a person who is mixed may not be amused by this at all because even though it is an “innocent” joke, people who are mixed are constantly surrounded by these types of jokes and offensive remarks. Therefor, we need to steer away from these kinds of jokes, because mainly monoracial people find it amusing.
In the slides it was discussed how the Rockquemore, Brunsma, and Delgado reading comes from a mixed race perspective whereas most research in psychology on mixed race folks usually starts with and is from a monoracial perspective. Your task is to find some piece of literature (fiction book, nonfiction book, television show, movie, etc.) that would change or mean something different or more if viewed from a mixed perspective. Explain its original, “monoracial” interpretation of it and how using a mixed perspective changes the story. Note: it doesn’t have to even be about race; it can be about gender, ethnicity, nationality, citizenship, etc. This ecological approach allows for any variation in identity at any time and in any place is applicable to all identity types.
Example: Harry Potter. This story is an epic tale of a young wizard who is bicultural (magic and non-magic cultures) and lives in a time when non-magic/muggle folks (including those who are wizards but come from non-magic [so-called “mudbloods”]) are devalued. When most people read this book they just hear of a fantastic tale of a kid who topples a dangerous autocrat’s regime (He Who Must Not Be Named aka Voldermort) using collective agency and, of course, love. From many people’s perspective, it’s “monoracial” interpretation is that it’s political in nature, focusing on activism, while also touching on friendship, family, and trust. Using a mixed perspective allows us to evaluate “mudbloods,” squibs, and muggles in terms of stratification similar to that of a monoracial/mixed race system. Who is devalued more and why? What does that tell us about society and about power? It also allows us to better understand the struggles that Harry has trying to find his way in this new culture while maintaining more distant ties to his former, muggle culture. We can evaluate his lack of living parents and the awful relationship with his adoptive family and how that impacts his identity. We can use context to better understand his cultural identity at school vs at home vs in non-school but otherwise magical places.