12 Angry Men Analysis - 2

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  • Topic: Jury, Voir dire, Jury selection
  • Pages : 8 (2566 words )
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  • Published : November 28, 2012
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Nobody could forecast that a low budget movie with 12 different actors performing in one single room could affect in such a remarkable degree several sciences like law, business, psychology etc. The movie, based on the scenario that a 12 member jury group is about to decide through a certain procedure if a young boy is going to face the death penalty or not, can be linked with many theories referring to leadership or group/team work.

Influenced by the Group Effectiveness Model of Schwarz (2002), the structure of the group along with the context and the process are vital for its effectiveness (Eirini Flouri & Yiannis Fitsakis 2007). In the first part of the film when the stage of forming, as it is claimed by the Tuckman’s Team Model, occurs, we notice the main characteristics of this group(David A. Buchanan & Andrej Huczynski, 2010). The group consists of 12 male middle aged white men probably coming from the middle class. Even from this first impression, admiring the effort of the film to achieve diversity, signs of prejudice appear. Specifically, the fact that all of them are men and moreover white men represents main biases of that period. Additionally, as it is mentioned to Sheldon’s Theory about the biases, the somatotype of each person declares in a certain way its character and this can be noticed by the selection of the characters and their match with the roles (Big guy is the tough one, smaller and thinner is the most innocuous, the handsome is the sensible and sensitive one etc.) (David A. Buchanan & Andrej Huczynski, 2010).

Despite the fact that the movie is trying to accuse such biases (which will be underlined later) certain ways of projection of that period could not be avoided. This is one of the reasons why in the remake of the film in 1997 black actors participated as well and later there even women were introduced in the team for certain theatrical versions.(Eirini Flouri & Yiannis Fitsakis 2007).

The existence of a “one-off” situation like this in the movie leaves space for less inhibition for conflicts. Moreover, specific factors like the size, the external-internal environment and the definition of the process play a crucial role in the structure of the group. Obviously, the size of this group is 12, but the question is: why so many? The reason is that by having a greater number of juries the system of justice achieves higher levels of democracy with less possibilities of getting unfair decisions combining the memory, the knowledge and the experience of each member and eliminates any prejudiced behaviors. On the other hand as Social Impact Theory mentions the more members there are, the less responsibility they feel (Latane and Nida, 1980).

In the external environment we could enclose the time of the procedure, which is unlimited at first but with a deadline coming up afterwards, and the conditions of the place of action, which is characterized by the humidity and the high summer temperatures, the broken air-conditioning, the unavailability of space. Such details could become the cause of stress, aggressiveness and as it was shown desire for fast result (just finish the procedure).

In the internal environment issues like experience of previous similar situations, cultures, personalities, knowledge, mood, health, personal schedule and specialization could affect the result. Ending, a matter of significant importance is the definition of the procedure. In this case, we observe that after the release of the 2 alternatives there are 12 juries left. The juries have to decide if the boy is guilty or not guilty but there must be a full agreement (12 to 0) in each case; A democratic method which proves the importance of the situation. Alternatively, if they cannot reach an agreement they can decide a hung jury and then another trial will take place with different juries this time. The role of the foreman is usually for the most experienced person in this field or the first jury or for anyone who...
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