What is most clear when examining Venice Beach from the perspective of ethnography is that it is made up of a diverse group of ethnicities and social class. Venice Beach is therefore multi-cultural. It seems that because of this diversity it encourages others to visit it who may be seek diversity or do not feel part of the mainstream. By this I mean to say that the location has a reputation for being inviting to different forms of life.
At Venice Beach, there is a laid-back atmosphere. When observing ethnographically the scene, I saw many different ethnic groups: African-Americans, Whites, Latinos and Asians. What is also interesting about this diversity is that it seems there is a lot of interaction between these groups. Certainly, there were instances where Asians were Asians, whites with whites and so on, but there were also mixed groups. Venice Beach gives us the promise of what a multi-cultural world may look like.
Social class difference is also part of Venice Beach’s diversity. There are many individuals dressed in the latest fashions, while others are also part of clear sub-cultures, such as punk rockers and hippies. Therefore, we see affluence and sub-cultural belonging in the same scene.
At the same time, however, despite the beach side setting Venice Beach is not paradise. There are clear examples of drug addiction and poverty. At Venice Beach also gather homeless and junkies: this is because of the relaxed setting, but also because of the opportunity to get pocket change from the people who have gone there for a walk.
In Venice Beach, we see what a modern, multi-cultural society is, in both its worst and best aspects. Ethnic harmony and different social classes come together. But we also see those forgotten by society, such as drug addicts and alcoholics. It is the light side and dark side of the modern world and capitalism in one place.