Belonging: Identity and Sense

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Belonging shapes who a person becomes and how they fit into the world. Personal, social and cultural identities are all factors are shape a sense of belonging and the types of interactions one experiences can enrich or limit this perception. The pain of not belonging emphasises this deep seated need connections with family, authority, friends and peers that are in constant flux and will impact on ones sense of belonging. Other factors include maturity, gender, ethnic background, historical and cultural context and the need to feel like an individual. The movie “Remember the Titans” as well as Peter Skrzynecki’s poems “10 Mary Street” and “Migrant Hostel”, represents a great understanding of belonging, and the self of identity determined by Family or Culture. Remember the Titans has many examples that react with groups that results in prejudice, and discrimination, mostly due to the racial tension commonly associated with this context. An in group is a group of people sharing similar interests and attitudes, producing feelings of solidarity, community, and exclusivity. An out group is a group of people outside one's own group, especially as considered to be inferior or alien. Prejudice is an unjustifiable (and usually negative) attitude toward a group and its members. Prejudice generally involves stereotyped beliefs, negative feelings, and a predisposition to discriminatory action. The film explores the racial tensions in a community and shows how interactions can lead to racial exclusion. Coach Yoast and Coach Boone begin with an interesting relationship; they are two phenomenal coaches, seemingly united by a desire to win. However, as the movie evolves, differences arise between the two. Coach Yoast, who acts as assistant coach under Coach Boone, starts off on bad terms with Coach Boone by showing obvious favouritism for his all-white football team. Boone and Yoast’s conflicts are as shallow as race, and are not truly about a different coaching style as they make it out to be. Boone is depicted as the type of dedicated coach who is willing to put aside any prejudices he has to win, and to teach the players valuable lessons. Yoast, however, views his white players as superior to the black players. The journey on the bus becomes a symbolic representation of the positive interaction and union of the team and their connection through the uniting force of sport and comaradery. To make this “team” work Boone had to join the boys together. His comment “I don’t care if your black, green, blue, white or orange” introduces the perception of belonging and emphasises that appearance does no longer matter now the categories were “offence and defence.” He forced all the players to get to know each other in order to get them past the racial barrier. He demanded the players to respect each other, in order to improve the team cohesiveness. Coach Boone controlled the players, set defined performance standards, and clearly told them what he expected from them. The lunch room represents the isolation and alienation between the “black and white “players. The odd choice of a white player sitting on the blacks table showed a sense of acceptance and realisation within the entire Titan players. At first they don’t accept him but then they do. This symbolises that in fact the boys are slowly coming together as a “team.” The others call him “traitor”, which expresses the hate still occurring. He then states “I don’t have any people l am with everyone.” This is the first acceptance that this racial conflict between the Titans has encountered. When the boys are forced to communicate the visual imagery is set as a black and white male is sitting on either side of the screen. The camera is in the exact centre of this shot, this represents equality. They are wearing similar clothes but are opposite colours “black and white”. This represents the interactions that have expressed a sense of belonging. Boone takes the boys to a grave site and teaches...
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