Windshield Survey Fashion
Sociology as a discipline is heavily dependent on research tounderstand various aspects of given communities. The research methodsused primarily depend on the type of phenomena under scrutiny and theintended use of data collected (Vaus, 2013). In the case of making anobjective observation about fashion, a windshield survey would beappropriate as it gives a broad overview of the community, is easy tocarry out, and provides a useful understanding of a particular aspect(Rabinowtiz, 2016). In the current case, the researcher conducted awindshield survey along the 79th street in North BayVillage in Miami-Dade County, Miami, to assess the fashion andcultural trends in the community with a focus on how these trendschange with demographic and environmental factors. The observationtook place on a Wednesday evening. The study revealed that fashionsense among residents of North Bay Village varies widely acrossdifferent socioeconomic classes, age, occupation, and weight.
The community at North Bay Village is mainly multiracial withHispanics being the most dominant. Non-Hispanic whites also comprisea significant portion followed by African Americans. A majority ofthe people walking by in pairs or groups spoke Spanish. Thepopulation of senior citizens is moderate with a majority of thembeing overweight. Furthermore, some of the elderly persons wereevidently living below the poverty line and homeless. At one time, anold homeless man approached the researcher in search of help. Such asituation showed the general socioeconomic conditions in the area.There is no blue-chip company in the neighborhood that would suggesthigh education levels among the population. Again, the percentage ofyouths in populations is relatively low and would suggest presence ofa higher learning institution.
Culturally, thearea is urban and home to a mixture of various cultures. There is alot of graffiti along the main streets and on abandoned buildings inthe neighborhood. The graffiti reveals some of the social andpolitical issues facing the people. It also showed an importantelement regarding the ethnic composition of the community withseveral South American flags and slogans plastered on walls. Forinstance, the researcher observed Peruvian and Brazilian flagsalongside Portuguese soccer legends Ronaldo and Pele plastered onopposite walls along one street. There were newly painted wallssuggesting the local government was making efforts to get rid of thepractice. The researcher also noticed that a significant number ofyoung men wore soccer jerseys of different European and SouthAmerican teams. Again, in a dilapidated communal basketball court,several young men were donning recognizable Miami Heat jerseys. Inone corner of the street, there are about three shops stockingsurfing gear. The fact that only young, white, males visited theshops during the duration of the survey means that surfing is onlypopular among this group.
Ethnicity and cultural background primarily impact the fashion sensein North Bay Village. In the context of the current research, fashiontrends are fluid and no past studies would support finings (Duq-edu,n.d.). Thus, the view that the majority of the people seem to beworking in local companies including the broadcasting firms GOL TVand Fox News` affiliate WSVN-TV applies to the specific case. Thus,the dress code for most men is smart-casual for those walking onfoot. Several individuals wearing official dress code were observedaround one of the restaurants in the area. In line withinterpretation of data, these people must be the high income earners(Gray, 2013).
The neighborhood is an island which means that the weather is mostlyhumid and hot which is reflected in light clothing among the locals.Another factor that influenced the fashion sense among the people wasage. There was a huge variation between how the young and the elderlydressed. Young wore more brightly colored and well-fitting clothes.On the other hand, the elderly tend to wear oversized floweryclothing with cool colors. A majority of the overweight seniorcitizens were male. Sunglasses were common among the younger peoplewho appeared leaner. A few young men seen on the basketball courtwere bare-chested eager to show their fit bodies. One of them had ahuge tattoo of an angel on his back.
Several key elements seem to drive the fashion sense in thecommunity. Some of these elements may not make sense unless they areperceived and interpreted in context while simultaneously collectingthe data (Rabinowtiz, 2016). The first element is the convenience ofliving in the humid hot weather. This need appeared to override allother factors. A celebration of culture is also evident in the dresscode notably in soccer jerseys. Soccer happens to a favorite sportamong Mexicans, and European and South American teams are popularamong the young boys in North Bay Village. Thirdly, politicalconsciousness is also incorporated into the people`s fashion sense.The researcher observed two residents in the neighborhood wearingt-shirts with images of Che Guevara. Guevara was an Argentine Marxistrevolutionary and guerilla leader who still retains an enormousfanatical following in South America and all over the world. Thefourth element is religious beliefs that shape fashion choice. Mostof the seniors and young boys playing in the streets wore the HolyRosary around their necks. The Holy Rosary has a lot of significanceto Catholics given that it features a crucifix and beads that guideworshippers in prayers. The fifth element is lifestyle andoccupation. Most people seek to dress in a manner that fits theirchose work life and preferred trend. For instance, tattoos are widelyaccepted as works of art that have emotional and psychologicalmeaning to some people.
In summation, the fashion windshield survey in North Bay Villagealong the 79th street revealed that different factorsshape the phenomenon. Among the greatest influences is the weather inthe region that demands people to wear light clothing. Occupation,personal preferences, religious, ethnic, and cultural factors alsoinfluence one`s fashion sense.
Duq-edu (n.d.).Service-learning: windshield surveys. Retrieved from
Gray, K. (2013). WhySurvey? http://www.greenbookblog.org/2013/06/28/why-survey/
Rabinowtiz, P.(2016). Windshield and walking surveys. Community tool box.Retrieved from
Vaus, D. (2013).Surveys in social research. New York: Rutledge.
No related posts.