The first is a reflection upon perceptions of Latino identity in Hartford, using audio recorded in street interviews with passers-by on Park St. Students consider residents’ testimony in the context of readings they have done, particularly that of Itamar Even-Zohar’s work on polysystems. Even-Zohar suggests that one can view communities as a “polysystem” or network of smaller systems, that have points of overlap in values and other commonalities but that also often have points of tension between them. These smaller systems have their own ”repertory” or cultural tool kit, but may often use some of the same tools as other groups. As part of our exploration, we ask if there is one big happy Latino community in Hartford, or if indeed there are separate communities–of Puerto Ricans, Peruvians, Mexicans, etc. who have a limited overlap of contact, experiences, goals; or who may even feel a certain tension with other ethnic groups.
Please click on the links below to access the blogs of students from the Fall 2009 semester of Hispanic Hartford, to see how these pairs of students used the information they gathered from street conversations along with course readings to come to their own conclusions about Latino identity in Hartford today.