I would like to start by saying that, I really enjoyed watching the movie CRASH, some of the things shown in the movie are very realistic and much of it can’t even be put into words. Two of the behaviors that I noticed most, are prejudice and stereotyping. It was the cause of where all the events eradicated from. These behaviors are viewed as thoughts and feelings that almost everyone has felt more than once. This movie shows us the different point of view of people in our society; it gives us an insight of the stereotypes that have built within our society and within the world.
It invites us to see and understand how such a small stereotype and negative attitude can go a long way and affect people differently. In the movie Crash it is apparent that emotions run high with racial and ethnic inequality such as frustration, aggression, and authoritative personalities. According to Diana Kendall in Social Problems In a Diverse Society, the frustration-aggression hypothesis is “Individuals who are frustrated in their efforts to achieve a highly desired goal tend to develop a pattern of aggression toward others (51).
” In other words, when people feel as though they are being prevented from achieving a goal, their frustration will usually turn into aggression. In the movie Crash, Farhad, the Iranian/Persian storeowner tried to live his best to pursue the American dream by running his own store. He hired a Latino locksmith named Daniel to have the lock at his store changed but conflict emerged between the Sas 2 two and in the end, Daniel didn’t change the lock. Later, the store gets robbed and trashed.
Farhad was already a frustrated middle aged man who struggled to make ends meet, and now having his store robbed has him act out aggressively without anyone to blame. So, he decides to lash out his anger towards Daniel, hoping it would help him feel better. Expectations of Arabs to be violent terrorists, Farhad is not even Arab. Technically, he is Persian, but what the shop owner expects from him, he eventually gets when Farhad “shoots” the little Hispanic girl. Farhad believes the Hispanic man is ripping him off so when his shop is looted, the Hispanic man is blamed although he had nothing to do with the destruction.
Crash is full of many other sociological concepts, examining issues of race, social class, and gender, as well as many others. In this movie, we can see the theories of Durkheim and Marx for sure as well as many other concepts. Crash is one of those movies that make us rethink even what we think we know about the world we live in. Another sociological concept that Crash demonstrates is the Thomas Theorem. Basically, this theorem tells us that if we believe situations to be real, they become real to us. Our own subjective reality becomes our objective reality.
It follows then that if we believe certain things about an individual, he/she begins acting in exactly that way. It also follows that certain crimes or problems do not have an objective realities. Using drugs would be one example of that sort of victimless crime. The best example of this in the movie might be when Jean Cabot grips her purse when passing by Anthony (Luda cris) and Peter on the street. She believes black people to be a threat. Her subjective reality becomes real in the next minute when the two young Sas 3 black men carjack them. What the characters believe about others has become real in these instances.
Another sociological term demonstrated in Crash is the theory of micro-aggression. Microaggressions would be defined as “Microaggressions are subtle insults (verbal, nonverbal, and/or visual) directed toward people of color, often automatically or unconsciously. ” While the individual effects of these particular instances may be small, the cumulative effects can be devastating. In Crash, I believe the character that most exemplifies this is the film director. Examples of these subtle insults would be things such as people telling him that he just isn’t really black to them or the comments about language on the set of the movie.
He advises him to tell the black character to make his language “more black. ” These are subtle but insults nonetheless. These kinds of comments, combined with the powerlessness he feels when his wife is sexually assaulted lead to the blow-up where he almost gets himself killed. He has endured these subtle forms of racism his whole life, and he reaches a breaking point where he just isn’t going to take it The last concept that is displayed in Crash is the sociological concept of ethnocentrism. This means that we judge other cultures by the standards of our own.
Not only that, but we also believe that our own culture is superior to everyone else’s. Graham and his Latina girlfriend fight and he pokes fun at her culture by calling her Mexican even though she isn’t. Asian Americans speech patterns are made fun of, like the term “blaking” for braking. These characters don’t celebrate or even accept the characteristics of other cultures. They only mock them, assuming the superiority of their own culture. They fail to try to understand one another through Sas 4 ethnocentrism. Officer Ryan makes fun of the name Shaniqua, a more common name of African American culture.
All in all, Crash is a movie full of sociological concepts. Many more could be analyzed in cry, sometimes at almost the same time. When we laugh, however, we must question the underlying sociological assumptions or concepts that make us laugh. Are we laughing at some of the racist jokes because of our own ethnocentrism. Are we failing to see the microaggressions directed at members of minority groups all the time. Are we as guilty as Jean Cabot at making our own realities our truths? Do we have beliefs about certain groups of people and essentially make them come true for ourselves? Crash asks us to question all of these things.
Courtney from Study Moose
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