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Some Kind of Wonderful analysis.docx

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Ryerson University
SOC 105
Mark Clamen

Some Kind of Wonderful Analysis Jennifer Brayton Soc 525 011 James Zorbas 500526413 Some Kind of Wonderful analysis James Zorbas In my essay I will focus on how dominant groups are represented through the use of stereotypes, and also touch upon the idea of a dominant ideology that is present within the scene. The dominant groups whom are represented consist of the white upper/ middle class, the white working class, teenagers, adults, and black youth. The ideology I will focus on is consumerism and how it is represented in the clip. The stereotypes which are present are that of the upper middle class being “better” than the other groups, and are seen as higher status, in comparison to the working class, which is represented to have less opportunity, and to be less respected. Also, the black youth are represented in a negative connotation which indicates gang affiliation. Another point I will bring up is how teens are stereotyped as sex crazed, rebellious, and manipulative, and how adults are seen as dominant, though, adult males can be manipulated in certain ways. In the clip, there is only one scene where a black youth is depicted. It is the scene where Keith walks into detention. When Keith walks in, there is a shot of some „hard‟ looking kids sitting at the desks, whom are presented as violent, possibly gang affiliated, and are clearly troublemakers. One of these „hard‟ looking kids is a black youth, and in the whole ten minutes of the screening, the only black youth represented. This is a clear representation of the stereotype of black youth being affiliated with negative connotations, such as, being gang affiliated or as troublemakers. In Ramsey‟s (2002) article, he elaborates on the idea of films representing African-American culture for what they actually are, but also points out that films, like Boys ‘n’ the Hood, represent black individuals as all living in ghettos, rapping, and doing crack. This asserts the idea behind film producing these negative stereotypes about the black African- American culture, and how black people, especially youth, are generalized as „trouble‟. In Pyatak‟s and Muccitelli‟s (2011) article, they speak about how music and film connect, regarding stereotypes with African-American culture. A specific set of lines from the rap group NWA was used in the article to exemplify the views on black individuals: Fuck the police, comin‟ straight from the underground. A young nigger got it bad „cause I‟m brown / And not the other color, so police think, / They have the authority to kill a minority / Searchin‟ my car looking for the product, / Thinking every nigger is sellin narcotic. (NWA, 1988) This set of lines is a critique on the common views and stereotypes linked with black culture, and youths especially, because it clearly calls out to the idea of black people being associated with selling illegal drugs, and being linked to trouble. Based on this research, it makes sense that the only depiction of a black youth in the clip would be that of gang affiliation, and trouble making, in comparison to the privileged white folk. The clip also makes clear representations regarding class, and who is seen as the individuals with power, and who is not. In the clip, Keith is a clear depiction of a working-class teen. You can see this based on the clothes he wears, the job he works, where he lives, and how others treat him. For example, the scene where Hardy pulls into Keith‟s gas station is a clear representation of a class battle. Because Hardy is an upper-class professional, he has this „right‟ to treat Keith how he chooses, which, is like dirt. Hardy drives a nice car, has a hot girlfriend, and has a lot of money, therefore is the „better‟ of the two. Also, though Hardy‟s girlfriend is somewhat of an upper-class person herself, Keith has a crush on her, which again, is an example of class difference, because, as watts points out, she is out of his league due to her status. In the article by Morley (2009), he poses this idea that, if the upper-class character is seen as handsome, well kept, athletic, and upright, then, in contrast, the lower-class is depicted as a thin, slouchy, shifty-eyed smoker. This is a perfect example of the stereotypes regarding class difference, and how upper-class
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