Analysis, Pages 5 (1089 words)
The sociological imagination is a quality of mind that allows one to grasp history and biography and the relations between two society. The difference between effective sociological thought and that thought which fails rested upon imagination. The movie A Bug’s Life’ shares the story of a colony of ants that area trapped in a vicious cycle of gathering for the powerful grasshoppers year after year. The ants become wary of collecting food and soon realize a revolution is needed to free themselves from the grip of the grasshoppers.
Throughout A Bug’s Life’, a critical analysis of character interaction contributes to a greater understanding of the functionalist theory, conflict theory, and Marxism and how these sociological principles create a competitive society and inevitably lead to societal change.The functionalist perspective is based largely on the works of Herbert Spencer, Emile Durkheim, Talcott Parsons, and Robert Merton. Functionalism is a system of interconnected parts that work together in harmony to maintain a state of balance and social equilibrium for the whole.
Functionalists use the terms functional and dysfunctional to describe the effects of social elements on society. Elements of society are functional if they contribute to social stability and dysfunctional if they disrupt social stability.
Some aspects of society can be both functional and dysfunctional. For example, crime is dysfunctional in that it is associated with physical violence, loss of property, and fear. But according to Durkheim and other functionalists, crime is also functional for society because it leads to heightened awareness of shared moral bonds and increased social cohesion.
As one part of a system changes, other parts have to readjust to accommodate the change that has taken place elsewhere. This aspect of functionalism explains why the grasshoppers are so adamant in preventing an uprising from the ants. The ants begin to realize after years and years of gathering food for the grasshoppers, that this system is not necessarily ideal for their colony. The grasshoppers sense this hesitation from the ants and quickly assert themselves to make sure the ants do not rebel. The head grasshopper makes it clear to his pack, if we let one ant stand up to us then they all might stand up. Those puny little ants outnumber us 100-1 and if they ever figure that out, there goes our way of life. It’s not about food, it’s about keeping those ants in line (A Bug’s Life). Similarly, a functionalist society is inordinately dependent on maintaining the status to ensure the stability of the broader society. In addition to stability, a society also depends on social order, according to the conflict theory.
This theory emphasizes, a society is fragmented into groups that compete for social and economic resources. This is especially exhibited in A Bug’s Life due to the scarcity of the food each year that creates conflict between the ants and grasshoppers. Conflict arises between the classes or race. According to Marx, conflict will lead to social transformation or revolution. Crime and violence arises out of the conflict. The conflict theory suggested by Karl Marx, claims society is in a state of perpetual conflict because of competition for limited resources. It holds that social order is maintained by domination and power, rather that consensus and conformity. According to conflict theory, those with wealth and power try to hold on to it by any means possible, chiefly by suppressing the poor and powerless. A basic premise of conflict theory is that individuals and groups within a society work to maximize their own benefits.
Concepts of theory are Social Inequality, Power, Law In Action and Social Revolution. There are three propositions of Marx and Engels. Beginning, conflicts of interest will be increased by inequality in the distribution of sources. Second, this inequality will eventually be recognized by those receiving less, who will then challenge the legitimacy of existing itself, are perceived not as coercive but rather as natural and justified. Third, these groups will start to organize and bring conflict into the open, where it will lead to a more equitable redistribution.Marxism is a system of economic, social, and political philosophy based on ideas that view social change in terms of economic factors. A central tenet is that the means of production is the economic base that influences or determines the political life.
Under Marxism, outdated class structures were supposed to be overthrown with force (revolution) instead of being replaced through patient modification. It held that as capitalism has succeeded feudalism, it too will be removed by a dictatorship of the workers (proletariat) called socialism, followed quickly and inevitably by a classless society which governs itself without a governing class or structure. An increasing immoderation of the proletariat occurs as the result of economic recessions these recessions result because the working class is unable to buy the full product of their labors and the ruling capitalists do not consume all of the surplus value. A proletariat or socialist revolution must occur, according to Marx, where the state (the means by which the ruling class forcibly maintains rule over the other classes) is a dictatorship of the proletariat. Communism evolves from socialism out of this progression the socialist slogan is From each according to his ability, to each according to his work. The communist slogan varies thusly: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs.
In the film, the colony of ant and the gang of grasshoppers could be said the two classes. This is the first manifestation of Marxist thought on the film. Seasonally, the ants are expected to give offerings to the grasshoppers The colony of ant (workers/servants) which work to have food offerings for the grasshopper are referred to as the working class or the servants. While the grasshoppers who are few in numbers could be referred to as the master class. This master class behavior could be described as oppressive. They are not working hard enough like the ants and yet they have foods from the hard work of the ants. They are few in numbers but have the same amount of food like the ants that have a larger population. According to Marx a class is defined by the relations of its members to the means of production.The film highlights issues of class revolution, exploitation, collective action, solidarity, and worker ingenuity. A lively and creative though relatively short film, A Bug’s Life is packed with issues of economic and social justice. At the end, the ants were successful in transforming the system which created a more equitable redistribution of resources.