What I learned from the interview

I wanted to go back and look at the answers I got from my first interviewee, Kevin.  I feel like that interview gave me a lot to think about and consider while continuing to plan out my project.  I am grateful that we had this assignment because I can now formulate better questions that will yield more valuable answers.

The first question I asked Kevin was “What role did the media play in your life during your youth?”  He answered me by saying that is was not a big part of his life, that his family didn’t have cable so they didn’t enjoy watching tv as much.  He preferred to play video games instead, which I had never considered.  Can video games be considered a form of media?  Video games can also communicate ideas and information electronically, which I suppose fits them into this category.  I don’t know how many kids in the rural villages in Mexico have access to video games, but if they do, it might be good to consider how much time they spend playing these and whether they feel affected.

I asked questions about whether media played a role in making decisions concerning his education and career goals.  He is a junior majoring in Geology, by the way.  Although I was seriously hoping he would say yes and give my research a bit more validity, he said he didn’t feel like the media influenced his educational and career goals at all.  It was expected of him to attend college and his parents made that clear throughout his youth, so the decision to receive a higher education was not hard.  This makes me think about how different the environment in rural Mexico can be.  Many of the parents there did not receive a college education, and maybe while they may not discourage it, they might not strongly encourage to their children it either.  For example, my father’s parents didn’t make it past middle school and went straight to work.  My father only finished high school, but I don’t think it was ever in his plans to go to college.  Interestingly enough, he hasn’t stressed college on his children either.  I know this varies from family to family, but there might be a pattern here.  Do the youth growing up in rural villages receive encouragement to go to college from other sources?  Could the media communicate information about college and the possibilities it brings?

Kevin also told me that he was definitely influenced by the media in other ways.  He said a lot of the stuff the media encourages us to watch and listen to is demoralizing.  We have become desensitized as a result.  Although we may not imitate the lifestyles displayed on tv and movies, we begin to see it as “normal” and sometimes “cool.”  I know the shows youth watch in Mexico are probably different than what is on tv here, but do they see a certain lifestyle and wish they could live it?  Kevin mentioned that the lifestyles a lot of popular shows display on tv are usually expensive and could only be lived by someone with a higher education/very good, money earning job.  Would seeing that encourage students to work harder for the lifestyle they want for their future?

I think it would be helpful to me to find out what kinds of media the youth have access to so that I could evaluate if these sort of questions would be useful throughout my research.

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