Icons Primary Research

For my primary research i wanted to find out what people knew about the mafia and if they enjoy watching organised crime sort of films and other different types of media. I also wanted peoples opinion of Icons and wether they think an icon can be a negative person or group and how they think the mafia has influenced popular culture. I created a set of questions to get these answers in a questionnaire and online survey to get feedback to help me writing my article.

Audience
As i was asking about how the Mafia have influenced popular culture i thought it would be best to ask to the younger generation. Apart from films, Tv series and games are very popular within the younger generations so they will have more of an outlook on how the Mafia may be an icon and how the have influenced media of today.

Questions
1. If i said Mafia what would you think of?

2. Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?

3. Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?

4. Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?

5. How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?

Question Analysis
I opened the questionnaire with an easy question which will get the interviewees general opinion of the mafia. This opens the topic of what will be talked about which will hopefully improve the quality of answers.

For the second question i wanted their opinion of wether an icon can be a negative person or group. As the magazine Vice which i am writing for is a controversial media group i wanted to pick an icon which has influenced popular culture despite not being good role models. At the end of the question i added “if so why” which will force the interviewee to give a more detailed answer.

I wanted to get evidence of wether people like watching films based around the Mafia. I expected to get answers of people watching films like The Godfather and TV series such as Boardwalk Empire and The Sopranos which will help me prove that the effect of the Mafia on Media has produced films and tv series that we enjoy.

I wanted to see if people thought that the Mafia was in fact iconic. In this question i don’t force a long answer in order to keep the interest of the interviewee as it easy to answer. I wanted a simple answer to give me an idea of peoples opinion on this question.

And finally is the most important question in the interview. I start the question with “How do you think” which automatically forces the person answering to answer in detail and give their personal opinion how they feel the mafia have influenced popular culture. Hopefully it forces the interviewee to talk about their personal feelings towards the mafia in popular culture which will give me a good idea of how it has influenced films etc. of today.

Online Survey Answers

For this project i decided to try a new primary research method which was online surveys. I signed up to survey monkey and created the questions as above. After completing the survey i sent the link to people i know by email and tweeted the link on my twitter account. Although i got a few good answers in my results i felt i did not have a lot of feedback. I would fix this by setting up the survey earlier and find new ways of sharing the link to the online survey. However i have not been put off using online surveys again as it is a good idea to get extra primary research.

Q1: If i said Mafia what would you think of?
Gun crime, alcohol. Films (The Godfather,Scarface) games like grand theft auto. Breaking the law.

Q2: Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?
In my opinion in icon is someone who should be looked up to. Someone who leaves a positive impression.

Q3: Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?
Yes. I am a big fan of Tv series The Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire and Scarface is one of my favourite films.

Q4: Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?
Im not sure i would agree that the Mafia are Iconic but they have left an affect on popular culture.

Q5: How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?
Mainly through films for me. TV series are becoming more and more popular so popular tv series such as the Sopranos and Boardwalk Empire will interest the current generation.

Q1: If i said Mafia what would you think of?
The south of Italy. Violence, family bonds. The Godfather and other films. Smartly dressed.

Q2: Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?
People in the past can be seen as an Icon possible even Hitler and Che Guevara. So in that case i assume an icon can be a negative.

Q3: Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?
The Godfather is one of the most successful films ever. I don’t tend to pick violent films as much but i can appreciate them.

Q4: Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?
In terms of having an impact on todays culture then they have influenced a lot. Gaming is expanding and the mafia have surely influenced games.

Q5: How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?
Definitely. Many of the better films are based off true events in that period of time and notious gangsters specifically Al Capone.

Q1: If i said Mafia what would you think of?
I generally associate Mafia with Al Capone due to what I have watched and read about.

Q2: Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?
Yes. I believe that when you discuss a topic, you make links to things that may be your experiences or beliefs which affects your overall opinion.

Q3: Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?
I have watched a tv series called Boardwalk Empire which is largely based on the Mafia however I do not choose to watch a film or TV series if it is based on the Mafia.

Q4: Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?
Yes because they are well known by the general population and some films, tv series and games are based on the Mafia.

Q5: How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?
Through people’s depiction in films and tv. There is merchandise of the Mafia, including posters, T-shirts, games etc which portrays crime as being cool to a younger population. Popular culture has given an insight into the Mafia by showing the crimes they have committed, but also making the characters liked and iconic.

Q1: If i said Mafia what would you think of?
The Italian Organised crime families founded in Sicily.

Q2: Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?
An icon can have negative perceptions causing negative attitudes towards the group.

Q3: Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?
The Godfather is good.

Q4: Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?
The Mafia are iconic of the economic struggles suffered by the Italians in Sicily in the 20th century.

Q5: How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?
People think the mafia is any organised crime family thanks to the media however Mafia only really refers to the Cosa Nostra mafia families of Sicily.

Questionnaire

1. If i said Mafia what would you think of?

“To me? I think of Sicily, organised crime, maybe loyalty,blackmail and protection.”

2. Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?

“I suppose it depends because negative is different for different people. Your positive might be someone else’s negative so an icon is different for different people. But i think an icon has to be positive for you. An Icon is personable. A negative person can be an icon but bot an icon for me.”

3. Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?

“Yes i love it. I haven’t watched the godfather but i have seen other gangster/organised crime programmes.”

4. Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?

“Yes. Not for me, not for my icons but as icons of the organised crime genre yes they are. They are probably the most notorious in that field. Their style can be seen as iconic. The crime of the mafia is glamorised through media anyway and films picked up on it. Its good on films because you experience something you have never experienced so in that way it is all right to think the mafia is cool.”

5. How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?

“They have erm paved the way for a new genre of film and now there are lots of films coming out that involve crime. I think it started with the mafia films then other films came out with crime. Then it has influenced modern films and tv series like breaking bad creating spin offs from the same idea.”

1. If i said Mafia what would you think of?

“I grew up with some of the Mafia films such as The Godfather and Scarface and one of my personal favourites is the Untouchables which was based on Al Capone so i automatically think of films. I also would say alcohol like with the prohibition law.”

2. Do you believe an Icon can be a Negative person/group. If so why?

“I haven’t really though of the possibility of an Icon being a negative figure. I suppose they can be. Why cant there be a negative icon? Someone who has been responsible for many deaths should not be admired obviously but they can be replicated in popular culture.”

3. Do you like to watch Mafia based films and tv series such as The Godfather etc?

“I said before The Untouchables is one of my all time favourite films. The Godfather is known to be one of the best films of all time. I don’t know much about TV series however i believe that the sopranos and breaking bad are influenced by crime.”

4. Would you say that the Mafia are Iconic?

“In the way of influencing todays media yes they definitely can be regarded as iconic. You could argue that all types of crime films and even video games have been influenced by the media.”

5. How do you think the Mafia have helped influence Popular culture?

“Through like you have mentioned films, tv series etc.”

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