Prejudice and How It Is Demonstrated in 'Remember the Titans'

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Prejudice, as defined in psychology, involves holding a negative attitude towards the members of a group, based merely on their membership of that group. Any group can be the focus of prejudice. A person, who is prejudiced against a certain group, has a tendency to overlook the individual characteristics or behavior of members of the group to whom he/she is prejudiced, merely because they belong to that group. In the film ‘Remember the Titans’ (2000), prejudice is portrayed in several ways, but mainly focuses on the discrimination of the African-Americans. One form of prejudice, which if frequently revisited in the film, is racism. Racism occurs when prejudice and discrimination are directed at people who are members of a particular racial or ethnic group. This particular form of prejudices is the most prominent and makes up the foundation of this film.

‘Remember the Titans’ is set in Virginia, 1971. It explores numerous forms of racial prejudice and discrimination. The opening scenes, particularly the information regarding a white shopkeeper murdering a black man and not being found guilty, emphasizes one of the main themes of this film- racial discrimination. Another incident in the film that supports this theme is the reactions of the T.C Williams High School football team to the news of a new black coach, receiving the position of head coach of their team. One of the players remarked that he wouldn’t play with those ‘black animals.’ His attitude represents the general attitude within the white members of the town, and the belief that the schools should not be integrated.

This film demonstrates the factors that may reduce prejudice- sustained contact, mutual interdependence, superordinate goals and equality of status. Sustained contact is the theory that more time you spend with someone the less likely you are to hold a prejudiced view of them. Mutual Interdependence is the idea that in order to reduce prejudice among groups, the two other groups...
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