Gasland and the Social Conflict Theory

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Bailye Henderson
Sociology 300
19 February 2013
Gasland and the Social Conflict Theory
Gasland can be examined using the social conflict theory of socialism. There are three main theories of socialism: structural functional, social conflict, and symbolic interaction. The reason for social conflict being the best candidate for Gasland is because it shows how much power, wealth, and prestige the government can hold among the U.S. population.

Josh Fox is the main character in the documentary, Gasland, and he can sell his land for $100,000 to the government for them to put in natural gas areas and drill wells for it. Other home owners with much land would do this to get money but then once the natural gas was set all over their land, there was a problem. After the wells were drilled, water started going “bad” and people became ill because of the contaminated water. For example, one family’s water was so polluted that their water was able to catch on fire. Another example of bad water was that the animals on a farm would drink this water and start losing their hair.

These many stories swept over the United States as Josh Fox went around to homes with this natural gas-water problem interviewing folks who were all deeply concerned for their well-being. Water started turning yellowish-brown and citizens had to go into town just to buy bottles of water to bathe in and drink. It became a huge social conflict that escaladed slowly but surely.

To conclude this short essay, social conflict clearly examines in this film that how opposing interests run through every layer of society. The constant balancing of trying to progress the U.S. environment is difficult when it is happening at a rapid pace. Striving for more power may just be the main cause of social conflict.
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