Movie Analysis

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SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

MOVIE ANALYSIS SYED RAZA HASHIM # 4299
JAI HARPALANI # 4351

INDEX
NOTOPICPAGE NO
1MOVIE SUMMARY3
2LIST OF ALL SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS FOUND IN THE MOVIE5 3PREJUDICE6
4GROUP THINK8
5BEHAVIOR AND ATTITUDE10
6CULTS12
7CHARACTER ANALYSIS14

MOVIE SUMMARY

The title of American History X is derived from the name of a class Danny is forced to take after writing a controversial essay on Adolf Hitler's autobiography, Mein Kampf. This film tells the story of Derek Vinyard , An extremely bright and charismatic student, Derek is drawn into the neo-Nazi underground after his father, a Los Angeles firefighter, is shot and killed by a black gang member. He becomes second in command of the Venice Beach neo-Nazi gang, The Disciples of Christ, which persuades young whites to join by promising protection from Mexican and black gangs who are essentially in control of the area. One dreaded night when a group of black carjackers try to jack Derek's cars, he shoots them down. Derek is later sentenced to three years in prison, charged with voluntary manslaughter. In prison, which Derek finds to his expectation predominately black, he is understandably in need of protection and joins the "Aryan Gang". During his life in prison Derek comes face to face with many harsh realities which were against his belief perseverance and by the time he is released on parole Derek releases that what ever he had against the blacks was wrong and the person responsible for changing his attitude on black people was, a black man named Lamont, with whom he worked in the prison laundry room. Once his time was over, Derek returns home only to find that his little brother Danny had followed in his hard line, neo-Nazi footsteps. He tries for the rest of the movie to lead Danny astray from this path. When everything seems set in a place and Derek is all set to start life a new, he faces yet another shock, his younger brother gets killed by a black teenager. The film then ends with the closing paragraphs of Danny's American History X report narrated by Danny himself, with his conclusion that "hate is baggage" and life's too short to be pissed off all the time." Some of the major issues that this movie deals with are :-

MAJOR
SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL
ASPECTS HIGHLIGHTED
IN THE MOVIE

LIST OF ALL THE SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS PRESENT IN THE MOVIE

Racism
Prejudice
Conformity
Compliance
leadership
cults
reverse discrimination
affermative action
change in behaviour and attitude
Groups
Evaluation apprhension
Group Think
belief Perseverance
Peripheral Route to Persuasion
the credibilty of the communicator
Self Scheme
Self Serving Bias
False Consensus Effect
False Uniqueness Effect
Fundamental Attribution Error
Reconstruction of past attitudes
Behavioral Confirmation
Cognitive dissonance theory
Obedience
Normative Influence
Prejudice
Stereotyping

RACIAL PREJUDICE AND STEREOTYPING

The title for this movie can be quite contradicting to its content. What might sound to be a movie on a boring American history turns out to be one of the most hard hitting movies ever made on Racial Prejudice and Stereotyping. Every scene, ever dialogue has an essence of prejudice in it. The minute the movie starts and Danny enters he uses the phrase "There's a black guy outside Der...breaking into your car" clearly showing that there is a demarcation within the people living in Vince High on the basis of their race. The movie does give us an insight as to why do our central characters Derek and Danny develop a prejudice against the non-whites. Derek develops it...
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