Hypothesis Assignment: Framing Social Values

(Work with me here.  I am formulating ideas for a thesis on unintentional propaganda and this is part of an assignment so it may not be immediately understandable.  Big things, good things, are coming.)

Hypothesis:  Individuals of multiple ages, social classes and genders within a specific ethnic group internalize general frameworks (“interpretive schemata” or “logics of action”) from the culture in which they are embedded and socialized.

Based upon social value framing theory and recent literature on schematic, internal cultural frameworks by Stolte and Fender, subjects emotionally identify with a person whose thoughts, feelings, and actions fit a particular frame than with a person whose thoughts, feelings, and actions fit an alternative frame.

Methods:  First the ethnic background would have to be specifically defined.  In Stolte and Fender’s study, they selected Latina-American women across several cultures and treated them as one.  This time, to avoid any discrepancies in the results, I would prefer to use subjects from one country’s US-raised descendants, Mexican-American for example.  Next, a cross-section of ages, socio-economic classes and genders would be selected to allow for results that can be more generally applied to the research question and verify the hypothesis. The participants will be randomly selected after placing ads on various social networking sites and online classified sites to answer a series of questions to determine qualifications and fit.

Through a series of focus groups in several categories and individual interviews, subjects will be asked a series of questions and presented with a variety of dramatic vignettes utilizing specific language systems that are endemic to US culture and the ethnic culture in question. Based on Stolte and Fender’s study, the subjects are presumed to act in a way that is common to one culture or the other depending whether the culture is more based on individuality or if the culture is based on community and collectivity.  The study will also allow for any individual gender, socio-economic classes, and age discrepancies and patterns that may emerge for further study here or in the future.

It may also be interesting to plan heterogeneous as well as homogenous groups across gender, socio-economic, and age classifications to see if the expected results in the above hypothesis provide the same results within and without each group classification and to compare the variations amongst individuals.  However, this may not be idea as this study is organized since it may be beyond the scope of one single study.