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The Blind Side’: Movie Summary Essay – Free Essay Example

Analysis: The Blind Side

The movie The Blind Side is about a homeless African American teen who was given a home to stay in by a wealthy white family. With the help of his new family, he was able to attend a quality school regularly and find his talent for football. He later attended Ole Miss on a football scholarship before becoming an NFL star. This movie shows how, with the help of his mentors, Michael Ohr was able to overcome his many challenges to lead a very successful life while inspiring others.

According to the Functionalist perspective, individuals are socialized by society’s institutions (Halligan 19). This can be seen in The Blind Side because when Michael didn’t have a stable home to live in and didn’t attend school regularly, it made him more prone to violence. When he was in a better school and had more structure, he was able to realize his strengths as both a student and an athlete. A dysfunction or some sort of unanticipated disruption (Halligan 19) in Mike’s life that is shown would be how his father was killed, and his mother had an alcohol problem. Both things were completely unintended, and not in any way Michael’s fault, however, these two things greatly impacted his life. On the flip side of things, Michael eventually getting good grades and attending college would be a manifest function that is intended and commonly recognized (Halligan 19).

Conflict Theorists see society as being unequal and being marked by power struggles. (University of Minnesota 2016). They also have the view that society is always in imbalance (Halligan 19). This is demonstrated throughout the movie The Blind Side on many different occasions. One inequality we see is social class: students who are in higher social classes, have access to better quality education, and as a result, have a greater chance of becoming more successful. Students in higher social classes have more resources and have a better chance of being in a higher social class themselves when they become adults. The other main inequality we see throughout the movie is race. Just because of the color of Michael’s skin he is seen as inferior to others. He faced a plethora of discrimination and stereotypes. A common stereotype is that just because somebody is black, they are going to steal from you. Even the mom who took Mike in had doubts about him stealing on the first night. When that is really the last thing he would even think of doing. Another stereotype he had to face, was that just because of the color of his skin, and the side of town he came from he wouldn’t be able to succeed in school. However, he proved all the stereotypes placed on him wrong and was able to become very successful

One scene in The Blind Side takes place on Thanksgiving Day. The family is seen lounging on the couch watching football on the TV waiting for the mother to finish making the meal. When they sit down to eat, the young child gets scolded for having his elbows on the table. Table manners are a social norm, which are socially defined rules that guide behavior in each society (Halligan 19), and are being taught to the young child as he grows up. Different subcultures, which are a category of people who share distinguishing attributes, beliefs, values, and/or norms that can set them apart from the primary culture in some way (Halligan 19), were also shown in the movie. On one end of town, there were all of the rich white families with children involved in extracurriculars and being tutored after school. On the other side of town, they were primarily African Americans who were in poverty and had children attending lower quality schools, and worrying about things like their next meal instead of if they will win the game, they are playing that night. When Michael took Mrs. Tophy to the “bad” side of town, she experienced culture shock, which is disorientation that can come from encountering an unfamiliar way of life. She was genuinely shocked by what that side of town looked like and even feared for her safety.

One of the main points we see throughout the movie is the idea of race and socioeconomic status. Conflict Theorists believe that the educational system reinforces and perpetuates social inequalities that arise from differences in class, gender, race, and ethnicity. (University of Minnesota 2016) In The Blind Side, the neighborhoods with run-down homes, and residents of low social class, the schools aren’t the best quality and they have high dropout rates. However, at the opposite end where residents have immaculate homes, the schools offer top-quality education and the students are just expected to succeed. So, when Michael transfers to the rich, private school we can see all of the prejudice and discrimination he faces. And this is just simply because of his race, and the family he grew up in.

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When Michael was growing up, he had little-no support from his family. He would come home to his mother who was most likely on drugs and wouldn’t have a bed to sleep in or a place to wash his clothes. Family is one of the five agents of socialization and it greatly influences you throughout childhood/adolescence and introduces you to societal norms (Halligan 19). If Michael hadn’t been taken in by a family who could afford to give him a tutor and send him to practice, it is very likely he wouldn’t have graduated high school and would have remained in a low social class. This really shows how much of an impact your family has had on you for your whole life.

The Blind Side can be viewed as a feel-good, inspirational movie. However, if you really think about it, not only can it teach its audience numerous lessons, but it’s incredibly eye-opening to see how so many people in America are being forced to live. Not everybody is as lucky and fortunate as Michael was and they’re forced to suffer over things that aren’t necessary. Using different perspectives to analyze The Blind Side we can learn a lot about socialization and culture in America.

Works Cited

  1. The University of Minnesota. 2016. Sociology: Understanding and Changing the Social World. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing
  2. Halligan, Caitlin. 2019.Unpublished lecture material. Kalamazoo, MI: Western Michigan University

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