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The Movie Crash 2004 Directed by Paul Haggis

Essay by   •  April 4, 2011  •  Book/Movie Report  •  1,043 Words (5 Pages)  •  9,673 Views

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The movie Crash (2004), directed by Paul Haggis, is full of sociological perspectives that "reveal the power of society to shape individual lives". With 17 characters, ranging from different race and ethnicity, religion, social class, gender, and all the stereotypes from the multi-culture of a modern day Los Angeles, they all cross each other's path and bring about a new change of perspective for everyone. The story starts off with a car crash, but the word 'crash' is a metaphor for the culture shock we experience when we 'crash' into people from different nationalities, race, religion and social class. The movie brings out the assumptions we have about the people from different cultures with whom we interact with throughout the course of our lives. We will look at how 'Crash' relates to sociology and theories by Karl Marx, centering on the social-conflict approach.

The social-conflict approach is the "framework for building theory that sees society as an arena of inequality that generates conflict and change". Using the social-conflict approach, we can examine the "conflict between dominant and disadvantaged categories of people, such as the white people in relation to people of color". At a gun shop, a Persian-immigrant, Farhad, and his adult daughter, Dorri, are discussing, in a foreign language, what kind of gun to buy. The frustrated owner interrupts them saying, "Yo, Osama! Plan a jihad on your own time. Your liberating my country and I'm flying 747's into your mud huts and incinerating your friends," and he proceeded to have security remove Farhad. The stigmata, "a powerfully negative label that greatly changes a person's self-concept and social identity", that are against any olive-colored skinned person, came post-September 11, 2001 after the terrorist attacks. Stigmata's are surrounded by prejudice, discrimination, and stereotypes, that can cause one to become socially isolate if they start believing in them such as the Thomas theory states.

Prejudice, "a rigid and unfair generalization about an entire category of people", condemns those who differ from us, while discrimination, "unequal treatment of various categories of people", refers to the negative actions, all while reinforcing each other. The Thomas theorem says, "Stereotypes become real to people who believe them and sometimes even those who are victimized by them," or is can also be defined as Charles Horton Cooley's term "looking glass self; explains that we see ourselves as we imagine others see us." A young African-American, Anthony, plays this role all through-out the movie, while he is having conversations with his accomplice, Peter, a young African-American as well. Anthony and Peter walk out of a prestigious restaurant, in an all white-neighborhood, complaining of the "hour and thirty-two minutes" it took to get a plate of spaghetti, while no 'white people' had to wait that long and how the 'whites' kept getting refills of coffee. Peter pointed out that Anthony did not "receive any coffee that [he] didn't want nor did [he] order it," and questions how is it racial discrimination when their server is African-American too. Anthony then asked Peter



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