compare-and-contrast analysis

compare-and-contrast analysis

Select two people and, after interviewing both, write a compare-and-contrast analysis of their place in society through the codes they are operating through.


Select two people and, after interviewing both, write a compare-and-contrast analysis of their place in society through the codes they are operating through. This paper should be at least five (5) pages, double-spaced, and include two pages of description per person and one page for comparison between the two and a conclusion.

You should apply any theories covered in this class and use any semiotic terminology learned in this class. Include a photo or photos of each person.

The two people you select can be friends, family, classmates, or even strangers. It would be more interesting and easier for you if the two people were quite different from each other, since it would help with your contrast. For example, you might think of differences in class, age, position in culture, gender and ethnicity. These are, after all, what the fashion, food, and media choice will be communicating.

Take a photo or photos of the person wearing clothing that represent who they are; this can be casual wear, formal wear, or professional, such as a business suit or uniform. List and describe each piece of clothing and interpret its purpose and meaning. Include jewelry and body art as well as hair style and fragrance if appropriate to the case. The interpretation of these articles should be both practical and cultural. For instance, if a man is wearing a jacket; on a practical level it might be for protection from the weather or for warmth. But a jacket communicates much more on a cultural level, for example, if the jacket is fleece with an Old Navy logo on the back as compared to a black silk Armani dinner jacket. What would these two jackets communicate about a person’s status in society or about the culture in which the person is living? These are the kinds of questions your paper should explore.

You should briefly interview the people and include excerpts of the interviews in your analysis. Some of the topics to cover in the interview might be; self identity, professional interest, cultural status or personal interests. The interview should be an important part of the analysis of each person. Your analysis should also include preferred foods and restaurants and types of media consumed, including film, television, magazines, as well as any other type of relevant entertainment. List and describe as much as you can about each person and find as many markers or signifiers in the fashion and cultural coding of the person as possible. Finally, place this person within the larger cultural context and a more specific cultural context; that is, what socioeconomic class, ethnic and gender placement, or sexual specifics if appropriate, apply to this person, based on the markers or signifiers you discovered. Briefly compare the two people after completing your analysis of each.

Culture is a series of sign systems, or codes, that communicate a lot about a person’s identity. This exercise is meant to illustrate what fashion, food and/or media choice say about a person and how they communicate.


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