Ethnography and Culture in Los Angeles

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Homeboy Ind. mission is to assist at-risk and former gang involved youth to become contributing members of our community. Political, ethnic, and social identities serve as markers for social mobility and control. Cultural stories are codified in visual forms, i.e. graphic arts using walls (graffiti), paper (poetry/short stories), tattoo (body), and performance. This class explores the role of these expressions in communicating cultural values. The goal is to create a dialogue between trained artists (Otis students) and self-taught artists (Homeboy) to create a dynamic conversation in which these issues can be analyzed.
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September 27, 2010
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Mural created by Otis Students in collaboration with Homeboys Industries
Spring 2009 Homeboys and Otis timeline installation project
Senior Integrated Learning students, homeboys and homegirls attend a lecture at Otis
Homeboys and Otis students collaborating
Senior Integrated Learning students, homeboys and homegirls attend a lecture at Otis

Defining culture is no easy task because it means many different things to many people. There are many definitions of ‘culture’ as there are cultures in the community and the world! This class will address common stereotypes about people living in different communities and will demonstrate how to communicate with them with both cultural competence and cultural sensitivity.


Education, Communication, Field work, Research, Personal Interviews and an open mind.