5 Thought-Provoking Movies for Sociology MajorsBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
For many decades images and films were viewed just as mere research tools to aid the collection of data. The situation has changed, and nowadays, visual content is widely used as part of a sociological study of culture, expanding our understanding of complex processes undergoing in the society, shifting our perspective on social interactions, and encouraging us to make an impact.
In this article, we've selected the top 5 movies for the most compelling sociological topics. While you enjoy these visual sociology lessons and pick up some ideas for your essays, don't forget about your other class assignments. Check out a professional essay writer service to transform your ideas into the impeccable piece of writing.
Themes: social media, cyber romance, online deception
This captivating documentary serves as a hazard warning about living your life online. The story revolves around NYC-based photographer Nev Schulman, who befriends an 8-year-old prodigy artist from a small Michigan town. As their online communication goes on, the guy gets to meet other members of Abby's family. His Facebook friendship with the girl's older sister Meghan ultimately develops into a long-distance relationship over the Internet. It seems like a perfect love story, but it takes a pretty severe turn from there when the two 'lovebirds' finally meet in person.
Themes: education, ethnicity, diversity, tolerance
Based on the true story of Erin Gruwell, a newly minted school teacher who was assigned the class of diverse students from culturally marginalized backgrounds. The kids who live in a world where street shooting, gang fights, drug addiction, abuse, and violence are commonplace, see education as a low priority. They treat Erin as another white person trying to make them over, but gradually she manages to get through to them.
As her first icebreaker move, she hands out blank journals, encouraging students to write in about their troubles and the things they never been given a chance to express before. As they open up their ideas and feelings, the teenagers find common ground and manage to tear down the walls that have separated them from others. Students can also use it for getting new ideas on how to learn act tips and tricks for preparing for the tests.
Themes: crime, poverty, violence, inequality
This astounding movie is a gang-warfare epic overlapped with a coming-of-age story from the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro. It is set in the area called Cidade de Deus, which was founded in the late 1960s as a housing project for the needy and over the upcoming decades turned into grim, drug- and bullet-riddled ghetto.
Entrenched in the endless cycle of violence, the favela leaves its denizens with scarcely any options to choose from. It's either you leave the slum or accept its rules. Most characters in the movie go for the latter. They choose to join one of the savage gangs that rule the streets in order not to become their prey. The only one who succeeds in navigating his way out of the slum is the boy named Rocket, who is the narrator of the story. He is the sole spot of good in this realm of chaos, rampage, and corruption.
Themes: women rights, body shaming, menstrual hygiene, fempower
This Oscar-winning short documentary concerns the often-taboo subject of period hygiene. The negative perception of menstruation converts to shame, social stigma, and gender inequality. The society embraces the culture of silence, dictating this physiological aspect of womanhood to be covered up at all costs.
In many places around the world, women are not allowed in holy places or banned from doing certain activities during this part of their cycle. Menstrual shaming also causes educational harm as millions of girls in the developing countries experience difficulties managing their monthly period.
The film follows the story of women in the rural area of northern India, who band together to overcome the barriers related to menstrual hygiene. They acquired a machine that allows them to make cheap, biodegradable menstrual pads. This sanitary revolution helped them to celebrate their cycle, as periods no longer pose an obstacle to their work and education.
Themes: racial inequality, white supremacy, xenophobia, cruelty
Hate begets hate. That's the message American History X is trying to convey. The movie shows how fragile a human spirit can be to the rule of a juggernaut ideology that only feeds violence, degradation, and superiority complex.
The story is loosely based on the life of a reformed skinhead Frank Meeink. Like his prototype, the movie's main character, Derek Vinyard, served a 3-year sentence for his actions, which had an immense impact on his behavior and mindset. Upon his release from prison, he decides to take a turn for the better, leaving his neo-Nazi past behind. Derek has to face the implications of his former beliefs in the life of his family, but in the end, he can't really escape the boomerang effect.