Elizabeth Reyes- My visual Sociology Class

         a qwriting.qc.cuny.edu blog

May 19, 2010

Final Project Pictures

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 3:35 pm

April 28, 2010

Famous photographer Larry Clark

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 3:48 pm

Larry Clark “Untitled 1963” from “Tulsa.” Courtesy of artist and Luhring Augustine

“A piece from Larry Clark’s “Tulsa” series, part of his retropective at the International Center of Photography” by The New York Times

Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/25/arts/design/25john.html?pagewanted=all&position=

Presentation: Mexican and Pakistani Wedding.

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 3:05 pm

This interview has been translated from Spanish to English. (I interviewed my mom Esther Duran).

1.       In a traditional Mexican wedding, how do a man and woman get together?

Well, usually the groom and bride date for a long time to get to know each other, and hopefully fall in love. The groom proposes to the bride, the bride says yes, and later on the groom must go to the bride’s house with his parents to ask for the bride’s hand, meaning to get the parents approval to marry her. His economy, education, and social status are important, but not the most essential matter. Love and being a good husband to the bride is what matters the most.

2.       In a traditional Mexican wedding what does the wedding consist of?

A traditional Mexican wedding consists of getting married by law and by church. First, is signing the papers to legalize their marriage by law. After that is over, the bride and the groom meet at church to get married by God. The groom waits at the front of the altar and the bride comes minutes later walking next to her father. Her father gives her away at the altar. After the church ceremony, everyone goes to the reception where everybody celebrates their union with food, cake and music and everybody dances.

3.       What is the traditional wedding attire?

The groom wears a black suit and a white shirt, a tie, and nice black shoes.  The bride wears a long white beautiful wedding gown in any style she prefers. White high heels, not too much jewelry, and an up-do hairstyle.

Exchanging Rings

My experience at the Pakistani wedding:

Similarities in the wedding was the wedding cake cutting ceremony.

Cake cutting ceremony


One difference I found in the Pakistani wedding was that the girls and guys could not dance together.

Only boys dancing to "bhangra"

April 14, 2010

“The Yes Men”

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 1:50 pm

The name of the organization “The Yes Men”, is formed by two members named Andy Bichlbaum and Mike Bonanno. The purpose of their organization is to open societies eyes about big business executives and how their greed is ruining our world. The two members of this group disguise themselves as business executives of a company and attend different conferences. They use practical jokes in these conferences as a way of ending greed.  They are mocking this big executive society by showing up at these conferences and playing pranks. It really isn’t clear who can join this organization but I think anyone can take part in opposing those who are taking advantage of their power. The Bichlbaum and Bonanno seem to be the only two that organize and make descision for their groups. It is a team effort and they depend on one another to get through a skit with ease.

We would like to join the group “The Yes Men” because they have a good cause. We would like to do something meaningful for others and have fun doing it at the same time. having a voice is important for everyone, and having the courage to say what we think is very challenging. Having the support of this group anythning could b possible. One voice is heard louder if it’s followed by many others.

Getting Serious

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Holtzworth-Munroe, Amy,  Rehman, Uzma S. “A Cross-Cultural Analysis of  the Demand–Withdraw Marital Interaction: Observing Couples From a Developing Country” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 74, (2006): 755–766

Buunk, Abraham P. and Park, Justin H. “Parent–Offspring Conflict in Mate Preferences” Review of General Psychology 12, (2008): 47–62

Saleem, Muhammad . “Pakistani Marriage.” ArticlesBase. 23 Feb. 2010. 14 Apr. 2010. <http://www.articlesbase.com/marriage-articles/pakistani-marriage-1895049.html>.

Selin, Lisa . “All but the Ring: Why Some Couples Don’t Wed.” CNN. 25 May. 2009. 14 Apr. 2010. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1898346-2,00.html.



A Cross-Cultural Analysis of the Demand–Withdraw Marital Interaction: Observing Couples From a Developing Country

 In the article researchers Uzma Rehman and Amy Holtzworth-Munroe do a cross-cultrual analysis of couples from Pakistan and White couples from America. Their theory is that women in western countries seem to be more demanding than men and men seem to withdraw. But this is said to be high influenced by gender roles and beliefs mostly in traditional marriages. To test this the researchers conducted an observational study of communication between married couples across cultures. The “demand-withdraw” communication was related to martial distress. For our project we are going to compare tradition events that are preformed in our countries (Pakistan and Mexico) to how they are preformed here in the United States. Also whether or not western culture influences how our cultural traditions are preformed in America. This article relates to our project because the researchers are comparing Pakistani- Americans to immigrants from Pakistan and to White Americans. The communication between married couples in Pakistan is different from married couples living in the United States. There is a lot of Western influence on the relationship between a women and men here in the United States and is much different that those who have a relationship in Pakistan.

 Parent–Offspring Conflict in Mate Preferences

 In this article researchers are focusing on parental influences on children’s preferences in choosing a mate. They review briefly how children’s mating behaviors across cultures have been heavily influenced by their parents throughout history. The researcher’s hypothesis why children’s preference differs from parents, parents usually have stronger preference for children’s mates in cooperation with their in-group and in investment. Whereas children have preference with characteristics that signal heritable fitness. They did an empirical study including 768 participants from different cultures and the results supported their hypothesis. This article relates to our project because most people in a traditional Pakistani marriage will be arranged by their parents based on their parent’s preferences. In earlier years in Pakistan most women did not see their husband or have any communication with him until the day of their wedding. When compared to weddings in Pakistan, Pakistani weddings in the United States have been highly of influence of American culture. Now Pakistani weddings in most western societies are not arranged but are “love marriages”, which basically means the people getting married chose each other with out the interference of their parents.

Marriage is one of the most important events in a person’s life. Mexican and Pakistani weddings are celebrated with much care and long time preparations. However, many people opt not to get married; the decline in marriage is clearly noticed.  The pakistani culture strongly believes in marriage as of other Spanish cultures, marriage is an option. Spanish people, for instance Mexicans have the choice to decide whether to live with a partner without getting married or have a big wedding and live as a married couple.  An article published in CNN  All but the Ring: Why Some Couples Don’t Wed By Lisa Selin Davis has shown how many couples prefer to live together and have families, without having to get married. “We’d been together for 2½ years by that point, and while he didn’t want to bother getting married, a family was something he could happily commit to” said the author as she explains that her and her boyfriend don’t believe they need to be married to be a happy couple. She also argues that childbirth in unmarried couples has increased to about 40% in 2007.  The author agrees that marriage is an option and is not obligatory to form a family with someone.

            Another way that Mexican and Pakistani cultures differ is the choice of partners. Mexicans have the choice to marry or live with the person they want from their culture or out their culture. However Pakistanis are not allowed to marry someone who is not part of their culture or religion. “As far as marriage is concerned it is considered not a relationship between two persons but a social bond between two families” says ArticlesBase about Pakistani marriage. That’s one of the reasons why Pakistani cultures believe that marrying someone inside your own beliefs is appropriate. Weddings are important; however marriage and all the things behind it as beliefs and culture are more important to the couple and their well-being.


The methods that we will be using in our project are photo-elicitation, observation and interviews. As an observation, we have already attended a Pakistan traditional event and we will also attend a Mexican traditional event. We plan on interviewing our parents and elders of our community to get the perspective of how the particular event takes place in our country and the differences of how the event is preformed here. We will look at old photographs and new ones to compare the differences and similarities of the cultural even that took place in the past to how the event is preformed today in a western society. Are there western influences placed on the events that take place? Are the events completely different in both countries of origin? Also the comparison between the Mexican and Pakistani cultures.


For our project we have informed our participants that photographs and interviews taken of them will be published on our blogs. They have given us full consent to do so, and those who do not want to take part in the project will not be involved. We chose to use visual methods because it helps the viewer better understand.  Pictures from the past will give us knowledge to compare previous events to events that happen now in this day.

April 12, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 3:26 pm

Pictures at a Demostration by Dona Schwartz was interesting to read. One of the most interesting things is the fact that there are different places and times to ask for permission to take pictures. For instance, she asked to photograph a group with free lunch and the people said to just take a picture of the food and later they made fun of her because she believed it. Later on they let her take a picture of the group.

The second reading was about graffiti and added to the movie we saw last week.

March 24, 2010

Proposal Ethics

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 4:18 pm

For our proposal, some of the ethics we will be looking at are informed consent and permission of the bride and groom to assist the wedding and be able to take pictures of the event. Also, the people that will be in the wedding know about the project and they are informed about the pictures that will be taken.

The Mexican wedding we are attending are not related to me in any way. However, a friend of mines is and he told me about it. I’ve talked to the bride about the project and she is completely fine with us comming to her wedding and taking pictures of anything as long as we give her copy of all the pictures we’ve taken for her photo album. she understands that we won’t harm her wedding in any way or will  intervene with her wedding plans. Kanwal has also talked to the bride and the family about the project. They have accepted with no doubt and are exited about the pictures we will choose for our project.

this must be exiting!

If anyone has a concern with their picture taken, it will de deleted from the project. Any interviews held will also be informed and the intervieww must give us his or her consent.

Visual Exploration

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 2:02 pm

As I mentioned before, the proposal Kanwal Syed and I will be working on is culture. We will compare and contrast the traditions seen in Pakistani weddings and Mexican weddings. It is definitely interesting to see how we carry our own traditions and the uniqueness of these.

                One of the first things that caught my attention for this project was the Hanna tattoos we did on Club Fair at school. We decided to visit the Paki club and they offered to do a Hanna tattoo for free. I found it very interesting to see how a Hanna tattoo can bring out so much personality and uniqueness. I felt special having a Hanna tattoo even though I am Mexican. I remember walking in Manhattan, and stopped by a café area to get some coffee, and the cashier asked me if I was getting married, of course I said no. I told Kanwal about this and she told me that a Paki wedding goes on for three days and the first day is Hanna tattoo day where the bride gets Hanna tattoos for the ceremony.

picture taken by Elizabeth Reyes

                In Mexican weddings we don’t get Hanna tattoos or dress up in long dresses. You just dress to impress as we say. One of the most memorable things in Mexican weddings is the flower girl. She will walk behind the bride throwing out flowers as the music continues and the bride gets to the altar. Flower girls also tend to hold the long dress of the bride. Without flower girl there’s no wedding. 🙂 . this picture was taken by my brother Fernando Reyes outside of the church. That’s my niece as a flower girl for a Mexican wedding we attended last year.

Picture taken by Fernando Reyes

March 17, 2010


Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 3:16 pm

For our  project Kanwal Syed and I were thinking to compare cultural differences. Kanwal and I are both from different ethnic backgrounds and we thought it would be interesting if we could  experience and compare each others cultures.  Me and my family actually moved here from Mexico when she I was 14 and Kanwal was born in the US but her parents are from Pakistan. We both decided on comparing our own traditional wedding rituals to each others. Kanwal and I will both attend a traditional Pakistani wedding and a traditional Mexican wedding and we will try to compare and understand each others cultures through our own eyes.  Some ideas are the comparison of the bridal gown and representation of certain colors and different rituals preformed during and after the wedding.

March 8, 2010

Mini Fieldwork Experience

Filed under: Uncategorized — elydurey @ 12:27 am

The last activity we had in class was very fun. The mini fieldwork experience was very interesting for me being the researcher and the participant. I was the first one to do the role of the Researcher. Being the researcher gave me a feeling of power since I was asking all the questions, and at the same time it was interesting to see where my participants would take me next. It was challenging to think of what questions to ask my participants but once we were in the field, questions came up easy as we move on to a different scenario. The things I heard from my participants were very profesional since not only we talked about the improvements we could have in the dinning areas, but also the reason why things should be changed. For example, Devin mentioned how the school should replace the soda machines with water or juice since many countries have been exploited in these coca-cola companies.

The role of Senora Participant was also very fun. The whole experience of putting my thoughts with pictures together was very enjoyable. It was nice guiding the Researcher.  I was the participant in the second round and we talked about the improvemevents that should be made at QC. I took pictures of the bathrooms as I was telling the Researcher that the bathrooms should be kept clean 24/7. overall, the experience was very enjoyable.

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